If you’re a frequent reader of all things civic tech, then you may have already come across the Array of Things (AoT).  Launched in 2016, the project, which consists of a network of sensor boxes mounted on light posts, has now begun collecting a host of real-time data on Chicago’s environmental surroundings and urban activity.   After installing a small number of sensors downtown and elsewhere in 2016, Chicago is now adding additional sensors across the city and the city’s data portal currently lists locations for all of AoT’s active and yet-to-be installed sensors.  Next year, data collected from AoT will be accessible online, providing valuable information for researchers, urban planners, and the general public. 

AoT’s public engagement campaign has been picking up steam as well, with a recent community event held this fall. As a non-proprietary project, AoT is being implemented as a tool to improve not just urban planning and sustainability efforts, but quality of life for residents and communities. To engage with the public, project leaders have hold meetings and workshops to build relationships with residents and identify community priorities. Those priorities, which vary from community to community, could range from monitoring traffic congestion around specific intersections to addressing air quality concerns at local parks and schoolyards.