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News Release 16-113

NSF commits more than $60 million to Smart Cities Initiative

Agency-wide effort to further science, engineering and education will address challenges in cities and communities nationwide

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smart and connected communities

Array of Things is designed as a "fitness tracker" for the city of Chicago, collecting new streams of data on Chicago's environment, infrastructure, and activity. This hyper-local, open data can help researchers, city officials, and software developers study and address critical city challenges, such as preventing urban flooding, improving traffic safety and air quality, and assessing the nature and impact of climate change.

Credit: Rob Mitchum/Urban Center for Computation and Data


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smart and connected communities

Severe storms and rapidly accumulating rain recently contributed to historic flooding that caused extreme damage to the main street of Ellicott City, located not far from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) campus. Using technology currently used in Spain but that has not yet been tested in the U.S., Nirmalya Roy of UMBC is building a network of wireless sensors to monitor rainfall levels, develop predictive algorithms, and provide real-time flood updates to officials. The system will then be implemented in Howard County and Baltimore County to monitor future flood events in these areas.

Credit: Photo collections from the Office of the Maryland Governor, managed by the Maryland State Archives. [CC BY 2.0]


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