Living Lab Smart City

The County of Arlington, VA, uses smart city initiatives to focus on three areas of importance: crowd safety, public health, and public safety. Within a new Safety and Innovation Zone project, the County will deploy sensors powered by wireless mesh connectivity to count pedestrians and understand crowd flow. The County wants to learn how technology could help streamline public safety resources and enhance residents’ and visitors’ safety. 

Enhancing security and maintaining the privacy of residents is a joint responsibility. Arlington County, working with support from Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI), Comcast, and US Ignite, has formed a unique partnership to address both issues. The sensors installed in the Safety and Innovation Zone Demonstration Project will collect data across one city block, process it locally, anonymize the data, and transmit the information to a County-owned watch desk. Reported metrics will be text only (no images) and will follow County data privacy principles. Also, the County is setting up an independent data privacy panel for oversight.

At the end of the 12 month project, the scaling phase will identify lessons learned to understand resident, business, and stakeholder impact and feedback. The evaluation of the communities’ needs will determine future project deployment and expansion. 

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