Mayor Bowser Highlights Milestone in Pennsylvania Avenue 2040

November 8, 2016

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The Division of IT’s Research Technology Services (RTS), led by Don DuRousseau, in connection with GW’s Capital Area Advanced Research and Education Network (CAAREN) are working in collaboration with the D.C. government and the National Capital Planning Commission on the launch of the Pennsylvania Avenue 2040 initiative.

PA 2040 is a project to actualize today what Pennsylvania Avenue might look like in 2040. In this effort, RTS is working with GW researchers to develop and install environmental sensing hubs across the city, starting with Pennsylvania Avenue. CAAREN will be used to aggregate live sensing data, provide access to city-wide data repositories and establish an Open Science Data Platform where users can analyze and share environmental sensing, and other data, such as traffic video from sensors built into the modern low-energy street lights.

These lights also house WiFi nodes that will be available for visitors to the PA 2040 area to use. The on-the-pole WiFi will be used to stream some of the environmental sensing data over to CAAREN, while other sensors will be connected using Ethernet, Cellular or Low Frequency Wireless methods, depending on their location.

Initially, the sensing hubs will be used by researchers and applications developers that want to measure air quality and pollutants, and monitor light and noise pollution, or vehicle and pedestrian traffic flows and incidents, to provide real-time information for rapid response by emergency services.

In combination with the PA 2040 effort in DC, Leona Agourdis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District said “The Golden Triangle businesses will be using data from the PA 2040 sensors, as well as from our building’s temperature and climate sensors to improve the efficiency of our own operation.”

Mayor Bowser highlighted the PA 2040 initiative in a speech on October 20, 2016. Along with D.C. Chief Technology Officer Archana Vemulapalli and Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, Mayor Bowser introduced D.C. as the first in the country to become a “Lighthouse City,” part of a Cisco initiative to pioneer smart city infrastructure through pilot programs and government partnerships.

“With this partnership, we will provide new opportunities to increase economic development, create jobs and provide innovative education across public and private sectors,” Mayor Bowser said in her speech.

RTS is working with researchers and sensor developers at GW, like Dr. Houston Miller in the Department of Chemistry, to deploy new sensors, while CAAREN is being employed to provide the high-speed network infrastructure that will facilitate collaboration between GW researchers and the PA 2040 project team.

Watch the full announcement video here.