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Philadelphia Launches Real-Time Smart City Project

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“People are rightly very sensitive to the potential for surveillance and misuse of data,” said Lee Davenport, director of community development for US Ignite. “However, it is worth spending the time to address privacy concerns and find w

Credit: Morgan Burke/flickr

A district in Philadelphia is moving forward with a smart city project to gain real-time insights into air quality, weather, transportation modes and more, providing a dynamic understanding of the urban environment.

SmartBlockPHL, part of the larger SmartCityPHL program, is a pilot project and partnership among the city, Comcast, US Ignite and Juganu. It will be deployed in Philadelphia's Midtown Village with the technology installed on 14 streetlights.

"The goal of this project was to test and validate new sensor-based technologies against legacy methods of collecting the same information," said Labonno Islam, digital engagement and communications manager for the city's Office of innovation and Technology. "As the city learns more about the quality of data from this project, its teams will develop ways to operationalize it in the future."

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