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What Can a Streetlight Tell You?


#Streetlights are the connected infrastructure of 100 years ago.  Think about how much a streetlight has seen during its life. What could it tell you if it had a voice?

If streetlights could talk

A streetlight can tell you how a neighborhood has changed … How the trees have grown, how the roads widened to accommodate larger cars and more people, how the telephone booths have vanished and how families have changed from elderly to hipsters.   

A streetlight can tell you how the intersection has changed… how cars are smaller, air pollution is worse, scooters are main stream, bikes have more gadgets, cameras are everywhere, intersection signals are automatic, pedestrian walkways are wider and people have more time to cross the street, people are more distracted. 

A streetlight can tell you things few other see…

Drug purchases/injections, murders, homeless people living and garbage cans overflowing.   

What could we do if a streetlight said, “It’s dark and I see a couple of kids lingering about with guns in their hands all facing the same direction as if they are waiting for something?”

We can analyze data gathered from sensors placed on streetlight poles to measure and help us address air pollution, traffic, crime, waste management and many more functions – all by listening to the voice of a streetlight.  

How much different would our lives be if our streetlights had a voice?

If any portion of your city’s infrastructure could have a voice – which portion would you like to hear from – and why?

#mydigitalcity #voiceofinfrastructure

Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences on this platform or connect with me on LinkedIn where I regularly post on the voice of infrastructure, smart cities and of course, all things Chicago.