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Portland project team wins "smart cities" prize

Smart Cities Portland Project Team

The Portland Action Cluster accepting the GCTC Leadership Award in Austin. Pictured (from left to right): Wilfred Pinfold (Urban.Systems Inc.), Christine Kendrick (City of Portland), Mike Reich (Sensamo), Kristin Tufte (Portland State University), Kevin Martin (City of Portland), Paul Giangarra (IBM Research), Glenn Ricart (US Ignite), John Gordon (Current/GE).


Thanks to author John Kirkland, Portland State University, for sharing this story.

(Austin, TX) -- A “smart cities” project team that includes Portland State University won the Global City Teams Challenge Leadership Award grand prize on June 13.

The $20,000 prize came from US Ignite, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster the creation of next-generation internet applications that benefit the public. It honored Portland’s Connected Intelligent Transit Action Cluster team for its ongoing work in developing a sensor-connected “smart” corridor that gathers transit data, traffic signalization information and air quality measurements to help local governments make improved transportation policy choices. 

Portland’s team is one of many around the world. Members of the team include Portland State University, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Portland Bureau of Technology Services, Technology Association of Oregon, Intel Corporation, Urban.Systems Inc., SensamoSeabourne, DKS Associates and TriMet.

The leadership award recognizes teams that are deploying technologically replicable, scalable and measurable Internet of Things (IoT) projects. Portland’s project includes the use of a new applications lab at PSU – the first of its kind in the United States – that collects, stores and shares data about all things related to transportation in the city. The lab promises to be a boon to the City of Portland and mobile application developers as they find ways to streamline the way Portlanders move about the city.

"One of the key components of a "smart city" is using data collected from sensors to assist with decision making and investment planning," said Kevin Martin, Technical Services Manager, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. "Piloting a network of low-cost, connected air quality sensors allows us to assess -- in real-time and at a block-by-block level -- the air quality impacts of our transportation system, and how those impacts change as we modify the system. It also gives the City additional tools to measure the performance of future transportation investments, such as the planned projects in the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan."