The City of Chicago is teaming up with the University of Chicago in a multi-million dollar effort to improve quality of life in the city. According to a Fox 32 News report, dozens of sensors are being installed around the city to gather information on an urban scale, part of a project city leaders are calling “The Array of Things.”
Fifty nodes are being installed in the popular Loop area of Chicago, and as many as 450 more will be installed by 2018. Data from the project will be made available to scientists and educators, and will also be made available to the public. A Web portal through the University of Chicago will make the data open for public viewing and use.
The Array of Things is meant to track humidity, rainfall, foot traffic and vehicular traffic, organizers say. This will help city officials make better decisions about road conditions, urban flooding or air quality challenges. Current nodes being installed in the Pilsen area will work to measure air quality as it relates to traffic patterns, exhaust from the Expressway, and manufacturing facility schedules.
Some Chicago residents have expressed concern about the nodes' potential to track individuals, but project leaders insist the program is focusing on trends and general data, not individual people.