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HOK Joins Columbia University’s Center for Smart Streetscapes

The Center for Smart Streetscapes (CS3) seeks to develop technological solutions to address community-driven problems, such as public safety, traffic efficiency and hyper-local environment sensing.

Most of the world’s population now lives in cities, which are composed of streetscapes that include neighborhood streets, sidewalks, and public spaces. These high-density areas are transforming how people live, work, travel, and manage urban infrastructure, which has given rise to challenges that threaten livability, safety, and inclusion. However, the effective collection and analysis of streetscape data promises to make important contributions to the public good.

CS3 was founded as part of a $26 million, five-year grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded to a team led by Columbia University together with Florida Atlantic University, Rutgers University, University of Central Florida, and Lehman College to develop a center for smart streetscapes. CS3 is now supporting the development of a rich ecosystem of streetscape applications built upon real-time, hyper-local sensing that can help resolve the challenges being faced by urban communities.

CS3 is taking a new approach to smart cities. Researchers are working closely with a diverse cohort of more than 80 non-academic community stakeholders—industry partners, community organizations, municipalities, K-12 schools, and now HOK—both as collaborative co-producers of knowledge and as auditors of technology research and development.

“HOK and CS3 share many common goals, especially related to the socially responsible use of data, smart ‘last mile’ urban design and more,” said William Kenworthey, regional leader of Planning in HOK’s Northeast Practice. “We look forward to bringing CS3’s experts into our design work as well as learning from and contributing to their ongoing research efforts.”

“We are pleased to welcome HOK to the Advisory Board of CS3. Their commitment to socially responsible design and innovative urban planning aligns perfectly with our mission to revolutionize streetscapes through innovative research and community engagement,” said Andrew Smyth, director of CS3. “We look forward to working with HOK experts to use data and design to create safer and more inclusive environments for generations to come.”

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