MetroLab Network Update

<p>Logo for the MetroLab Network</p>

Logo for the MetroLab Network

In September of 2015, Georgia Tech became a founding member of the MetroLab Network, with GT’s Center for Urban Innovation as administrative lead.  The MetroLab Network is a group of 34 cities, 3 counties, and 44 universities that have formed partnerships which focus on bringing data, analytics, and innovation to city government.  The network’s mission is to pair university researchers with city policymakers to undertake research, development, and deployment of projects that improve infrastructure, public services, and environmental sustainability.  The network was launched as part of the White House’s Smart Cities Initiative in September 2015. 

The network is focused on the research, design and deployment of projects in the smart cities domain.  The current active projects are grouped into five topics.  They are:  economic development and human capital, governance and civic engagement, health and public safety, transportation and infrastructure, and water, energy and sustainability.  The City of Atlanta has partnered with Georgia Tech and Georgia State on five projects.  They are:

  • Predictive Community Risk Reduction – Dawn Gregory and Matt-Hinds-Aldrich (City of Atlanta), Bistra Dilkina (GT), James Weyhenmeyer (GSU), and Experian Marketing Services (as part of Experian’s Data for Good Initiative).  This project uses in-depth data analytics, experimentation and visualization to help predict future fire incidents, and develop a comprehensive train-the-trainer program to teach firefighters how to conduct home fire safety visits to effectively change high risk behaviors and reduce fire risks.
  • Cycle Atlanta - Dawn Gregory and Becky Katz (City of Atlanta), Kari Watkings and Chris LeDantec (GT).  Cycle Atlanta is an open-source application developed by Georgia Institute of Technology in partnership with the City of Atlanta, Atlanta Regional Commission and Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.  The Cycle Atlanta app allows individuals to track their bike routes in Atlanta and allows City sand Georgia Tech staff to use the collected data for research, transportation planning, implementation and evaluation. The collected information gives an adequate picture of current cyclist routes and enables decision-making for infrastructure improvements in the city.  The application gathers demographic and route analysis, infrastructure analysis, and stress analysis, thereby informing infrastructure planning. The app also allows users to see their routes in real time and to see aggregated data to plan safe routes to their destinations.
  • Array of Things (AoT) – Environmental Sensor Boards - Dawn Gregory (City of Atlanta), Lee Lerner (GT).  The Atlanta Beltline, in conjunction with the City of Atlanta, is deploying a small number of environmental sensors that will collect real-time data on the city’s environment, infrastructure and activity.  This implementation of Array of Things technology will inform decisions around infrastructure improvements, transportation, sustainable programming and other factors that impact climate, air quality and noise.
  • Campus Array Node / Array of Things Network Dual Deployment - Dawn Gregory (City of Atlanta), Jennifer Clark and Margaret Loper (GT).  The City of Atlanta in partnership with Georgia Tech’s Research Institute and Argonne National Labs’ Array of Things will deploy a dual network that will aid multi-modal transit from the perspective of both operators and users.  The focus is on traffic/public safety monitoring and the display of real-time data for public transit operators, pedestrians, and officials to inform efficient, effective and comfortable use of various mobility options.
  • Predictive Policing Analytics & Video Integration Center - Dawn Gregory (City of Atlanta), Volkan Topalli and Ann-Margaret Esnard (GSU).  In this project, GSU faculty will help public safety professionals predict where and when crimes may occur by monitoring crime patterns with the use of analytics and video technology.  This will lead to more efficient allocation of police department resources.

Martin O’Malley, Former Governor of Maryland and Mayor of Baltimore, has recently joined the MetroLab Network.  He will serve as Senior Fellow as well as Chair an Advisory Committee consisting of leaders in government, industry, academia, and philanthropy.  In his role, Governor O’Malley will support the network’s effort to accelerate innovation in cities by deploying technology and policy solutions to urban challenges.  Governor O’Malley’s substantial experience inspiring state and local governments to focus on outcomes, data, and tangible results will strengthen MetroLab Network’s efforts in working with local governments and universities across the country.

Researchers wishing to share relevant projects through the MetroLab Network should contact the Director of The Georgia Tech Center for Urban Innovation, Dr. Jennifer Clark.  More information can be found at the MetroLab Network Website and at the Center for Urban Innovation website.

News Contact

Brent Verrill, Communications Manager, BBISS