A View of the Image Project Development from Overhead [Artist Rendition]

A View of the Image Project Development from Overhead [Artist Rendition]

IT’S REALLY, REALLY HARD TO DO SMART CITY INITIATIVES IN AN ANALOGUE ENVIRONMENT
— Bo Rodda

Inside an Ambitious New Plan to Build an Entire Smart City in Bronzeville

By Bill Flanagan, April 10, 2017

Every city wants to be a “Smart City,” an urban environment that uses software and the Internet of Things to manage its assets, improving the efficiency of its services and the lives of its inhabitants through technology.

So, um, where are they? Yes, some cities are further along than others - New York deploys smart traffic management systems; Nice, France uses nearly 3,000 sensors to process environmental data; and here in Chicago the city makes all of its information accessible via the massive city data portal - and there are Smart City initiatives and efforts in nearly every major city in the world, as well as several global Smart City forums and councils....]

But even the “Smartest” of the Smart Cities - LondonSingapore, and Barcelona to name a few - admit that they are just in the early stages of this transformation. Really, every “Smart City” in the world is just entering grade school.

Why is this? Most cities are built on decades - and sometimes centuries - of infrastructure and systems, with thousands of buildings, that aren’t compatible with smart grid technologies. And to get them compatible, it takes a lot of time and a lot of money. Unfortunately, there’s no magical IoT device that can be plugged into a central grid that immediately turns a city into a connected, thinking organism. The problem is that most cities have just been too dumb for too long in order to become smart overnight.

IT'S REALLY, REALLY HARD TO DO SMART CITY INITIATIVES IN AN ANALOGUE ENVIRONMENT 

And that problem is at the heart of the Imagine Project, an ambitious new proposal to transform 114 undeveloped acres in Bronzeville into a living lab, its very own Smart City within the city of Chicago.


1_View-from-the-South1-936x360.png
... it’s really hard to integrate next-gen technology into antiquated infrastructure...
And that’s the promise of the Imagine Project.
— Will Flanigan, ChicagoInno

Inside A Plan To Create A 'Smart City' Along Chicago's Lakefront

Jim Dallke - Associate Editor

4/11/17 @3:50pm in Tech

Karis: There's an ambitious proposal that aims to turn part of Bronzeville into a smart city within the city of Chicago. Jim, what's up with the Imagine Project?

Jim: The Imagine Project is a proposal by developer Paul McDermott and Bo Rodda, a former energy efficiency specialist at Argonne, to turn 114 acres of undeveloped land in Bronzeville (just south of McCormick Place) into a "living lab." 

Will: Here’s why this matters. The Array of Things is arguably one of Chicago’s most ambitious smart city initiatives to date. (It’s a collection of sensors and embedded systems that basically serve as a Fitbit for the city). It’s going to help Chicago better manage its assets and improve the efficiency of its services. But it’s taken over two years to roll this out. Why? Because it’s really hard to integrate next-gen technology into antiquated infrastructure.

And that’s the promise of the Imagine Project. Because it’ll be built from the ground up with Smart City efforts in mind (think easier access to fiber corridors and sensors and beacons built directly into sidewalks), green-lighting and executing initiatives like the Array of Things will take weeks instead of years. 


Feature 3

The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. In sit amet felis malesuada, feugiat purus eget, varius mi. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas non leo laoreet, condimentum lorem nec, vulputate massa.