The Center’s proposed research activities align with USDOT’s 2014-2015 strategic goals by considering the 12 vision elements identified by USDOT as the major defining elements of a Smart City. The Center’s 3 Research Thrust Areas, selected based on the core competencies of the consortium members, cover 9 of 12 vision elements of USDOT’s Smart Cities.
Below, specific research thrust areas are elaborated with specific candidate projects proposed for the first year of C2SMART’s activities. In future years, there will be an open solicitation for proposals from the consortium members of C2SMART as well as researchers who are not part of the consortium. This research project selection process is described in the Peer Review and other Research “Best Practices” to Select and Manage Projects subsection.
Thrust Area 1: Urban Mobility and Connected Citizens
NYC is increasingly home to a number of leading projects on large-scale urban human tracking, mobility and connected vehicles (CV). The C2SMART researchers are involved with two of these ongoing large-scale projects:
(1) USDOT’s CV pilot deployment program. NYC is one of three CV pilot test sites selected by the USDOT, where NYCDOT will instrument up to 10,000 vehicles. Two of the C2SMART leaders, Professors Ozbay and Kamga, are part of this new project and are closely working with NYCDOT. Under Thrust Area 1, the NYCDOT CV pilot test will be one of the major initiatives that will drive our research agenda. In fact, lessons learned from this project will form the basis for deployment at other U.S. cities.
(2) The Kavli Human Understanding through Measurement and Analysis (HUMAN) Project (KHP) led by Professor Glimcher of NYU. This project will employ recent advances in technology and data analytics to gather information on 10,000 individuals across a broad array of domains—neuroscience, genetics, medicine, psychology, economics, sociology, and urban informatics—over a span of two decades. Using the latest methods in data management to maintain security and protect participant privacy, this rich resource will be made accessible to the research community in order to facilitate previously unattainable advancements in medicine, the social sciences, and understanding the roots of human behavior, while fostering evidence-based public policies. This is the first such study in the world and has been compared in significance to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey that revolutionized astronomy.
Clearly, these projects will generate mobility and human behavior data at a scale that has never before been seen anywhere in the world. Thrust Area 1 is expected to break new ground in our understanding of urban mobility systems.
Thrust Area 2: Urban Analytics for Smart Cities
NYU, in collaboration with over 15 agencies in NYC and numerous national labs and industry partners, started a new research and education initiative under the name of Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP). CUSP’s main focus is on the use of “Big Data” to solve urban problems. To achieve this ambitious goal, CUSP has established a number of research and education programs specifically in urban analytics. The goal of these programs is to create data sets, sensors, and tools that will make our cities smarter. In the same vein, in April 2015, nine UTEP faculty members from four departments, led by Professor Kelvin Cheu, initiated the Smart Cities Research Community. The group has received funds as part of the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (Rutgers Tier 1 UTC) on a project, “Research Challenges toward the Implementation of Smart Cities in the United States,” with focuses on smart building, smart bridges and smart mobility. Strategic partnerships were quickly established with the Faculty of Transportation Sciences, Czech Technical University, Czech Republic, and College of Economics and Business Administration, University of Guadalajara, Mexico. In 2016, the UTEP and University of Guadalajara secured funding from Partners of the Americas Foundation to support the U.S.-Mexico Bi-Directional Study Abroad Program on Smart Cities, the first such international course with credits recognized by both universities. The UTEP Smart Cities Community is also in constant discussions for collaborative opportunities with the City of El Paso, which is designated by the Rockefeller Foundation as one of 100 Resilient Cities.
Thrust Area 3: Resilient, Secure, and Smart Transportation Infrastructure
Rutgers University (RU) and specifically Rutgers Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation (RIME) laboratory have been at the forefront of creating smart and resilient infrastructure from the bottom up in the last 15 years. Professor Nassif’s work on Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) with several state and federal agencies has paved the way to a smarter transportation infrastructure that is also more resilient and secure. Instrumentation of the Doremus Avenue Bridge, a pioneering implementation of a SHM system during and after construction in the early 2000’s, was an inflection point in the practice of SHM in the U.S. The RIME laboratory continues to instrument major transportation infrastructure elements of key facilities such as the New Jersey Turnpike (NJTPK), NJDOT’s Doremus Avenue Bridge, and NJ TRANSIT bridges with the ultimate goal of improving resiliency and reliability of our transportation system. Infrastructure design in the context of system of SoS also depends on its interaction with the smart grid and evaluation of resiliency. The International Center for Enterprise Preparedness (InterCEP) at NYU (through Professor Bill Raisch) was recently initiated to maintain a Regional Resilience Program for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), called the Metropolitan Regional Resilience Network.