With the Delta variant surging, Denver has issued new public health orders requiring pre-K through 12th-grade students to wear masks at school and requiring city employees and some private-sector workers in high-risk settings to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Denver Smart City challenges the status quo on how projects are developed and delivered, integrating an experimental spirit to take calculated risks while exploring possibilities to bring the best and brightest ideas, projects, and collaborations to Denver. We have embraced a unique opportunity to install, understand, and evaluate several smart technologies in special "living labs" around the city.
In a unique partnership, the City of Denver, Denver International Airport, Panasonic, and other stakeholders are creating the transit-oriented development site of the future at Peña Station. This living laboratory has become a technology test bed for renewable energy, next-generation public safety, environmental solutions, electric vehicle charging, and smart lighting. Smart lighting gives us control of streetlights, helping to maximize safety, and minimize light pollution, while at the same time using less energy with LED lighting. Wi-Fi enables the smart lighting while providing connectivity for great events, such as the 2017 Solar Decathlon, and keeping people connected to the internet while they wait for their train to get to downtown or the airport. Finally, one of the most exciting elements of this partnership is Easy Mile, a maker of autonomous vehicles, which has located its North American headquarters at Peña Station and is poised to deploy an electric driver-less shuttle, allowing us to capitalize on shared mobility and energy efficiency at the same time.
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The city is building citizen-centric, technology-focused research initiatives on smart urban communities in collaboration with the University of Denver (DU) and the Colorado School of Mines . Through research, classes, and community outreach such as Photovoice, we are working together to strengthen our community and educate our students.
Living Labs are where the city tests innovative ideas and works to more fully understand capabilities and limitations prior to large-scale deployments. We are currently focusing on:
Traffic Signal Activation for Bicyclists - To improve bicyclist safety, we are exploring technology that will enable cyclists to trigger a traffic signal when they are approaching an intersection. This technology and the data that is gathered will not only provide more awareness of people biking, but will also allow bicyclists to have an easier trip along designated routes.
Safe & Accessible Transportation for Low-Income Residents: One struggle faced by low-income residents is finding reliable, efficient, and affordable transportation to navigate the city. Our Living Lab will help to connect low-income residents to safe and reliable services as well as collect vehicle, bicyclist and pedestrian counts to identify commuting patterns. This data will ensure that appropriate multi-modal solutions are deployed to provide a safe environment and access to city services.