This week in Chicago, the Array of Things team begins the first phase of the groundbreaking urban sensing project, installing the first of an eventual 500 nodes on city streets. By measuring data on air quality, climate, traffic and other urban features, these pilot nodes kick off an innovative partnership between the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and the City of Chicago to better understand, serve, and improve cities.
In the first phase of the project, 50 nodes will be installed in August and September on traffic light poles in The Loop, Pilsen, Logan Square, and along Lake Michigan. These nodes will contain sensors for measuring air and surface temperature, barometric pressure, light, vibration, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, and ambient sound intensity. Two cameras will collect data on vehicle and foot traffic, standing water, sky color, and cloud cover.
OpenGrid, a new website and mobile app that maps and visualizes city data for Chicago residents, was announced and released today by the City of Chicago. The project, funded by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge, was built in partnership with researchers at the CI's Urban Center for Computation and Data and uses their Plenario open data platform.
At the 7th World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia next month, representatives from cities around the globe will gather to exchange ideas under the theme of “Urban Equity in Development -- Cities for Life.” To help kick off that event, the University of Chicago with the MacArthur Foundation, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Chicago Sister Cities International, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development organized a pre-session dialogue in downtown Chicago called “The Informed City: Data Driven Approaches to a More Just, Equitable and Sustainable City.” More than 130 representatives from the public, private, philanthropic, academic and civic sectors attended the event, and an additional 350 people watched via live webcast on Tuesday, March 4.
For the AAAS 2014 session, “A New Era for Urban Research: Open Data and Big Computation,” CI Senior Fellow and Urban Center for Computation and Data director Charlie Catlett assembled an “all-star cast” of social scientists, computer scientists, and representatives from government and industry to illustrate these new partnerships. The urgency driving the presentations and discussions was the rapidly growing urbanization around the world, particularly in China, where they will need to build the equivalent of one New York City every year to house its growing urban population, Catlett said. In the face of these imposing statistics, speakers demonstrated exciting new work going on in Chicago, New York, Beijing, and Boston.