On Sept. 14, City Digital — a Chicago-based consortium focused on data-driven urban innovation within the built environment — launched two pilot programs focused on smart, green infrastructure monitoring and underground infrastructure mapping. The inaugural pilot programs are supported by founding members of the City Digital consortium, including Microsoft, Accenture, ComEd, Siemens, and HBK Engineering.

City Digital will use Chicago as a testbed for technology and demonstration, focusing on transportation, physical infrastructure, water and sanitation, and energy management. The goal is to deploy solutions for the smart-city marketplace that can be delivered successfully at scale to a larger market.

Smart, Green Infrastructure Monitoring

This pilot project will develop a low-cost sensing package backed by cloud-based reporting and analytics that will accurately report green infrastructure performance alongside existing grey infrastructure. The pilot program will explore the effects of green infrastructure installations on local flooding, transportation obstructions, and water quality.

Underground Infrastructure Mapping

The demonstration project will focus on developing a platform that enables virtual mapping to help monitor underground structures, such as water-, wastewater-, and stormwater-pipelines. The goal is to improve methods of planning and executing underground projects. The project aims to improve underground design coordination, reduce redundant digging operations and accidental interruptions of service, increase accuracy of utility information, and optimize the way this information is obtained.

City Digital’s experiments are supported by a commitment from the City of Chicago to open its assets and infrastructure for technology experimentation in order to drive innovation and change. Each pilot project is to include a pathway to commercialization, so that successful demonstrations can be quickly extended throughout Chicago and to other cities nationally and globally. Read more.