Using data and technology to improve people's lives.

Current Projects

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Regional Smart Cities Action Plan

Leads

Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), Portland State University (PSU), Metro, TriMet, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Multnomah County

Sponsors

Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Dan Saltzman

A Smart Region is one that collaborates to improve people’s lives using data and technology for informed decision-making to address regional goals related to equity, safety, affordability, sustainability, resilience, economic vitality, and public health. This partnership of public agencies and academic institutions in the Portland metropolitan area has identified and prioritized regional initiatives, policies and pilots that cross jurisdictional boundaries and break down silos. Collaborating across public-sector, higher education, and private-sector entities by recognizing shared goals, leveraging bargaining power, and finding innovative solutions that improve  services will benefit the whole region now and in the future.

This partnership has produced a draft Regional Smart Cities Action Plan, which will be made public soon.

Air Quality Sensor Testing & Deployment

Leads

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)

Sponsors

Mayor Ted Wheeler

 
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Lower-cost air quality sensors are being explored as a tool to provide more information about localized air quality. Air pollution is not uniform across Portland communities and traditional ambient air quality monitoring at high spatial resolutions is difficult due to cost, time, and space constraints.

Current sensor technology is limited for measuring the pollution levels found in U.S. cities. This project uses a variety of co-located sensor deployments to address these limitations and understand the uses of air quality sensor data. Can sensors be used for pre and post assessments of construction or changes to the roadway environment? Can we compare relative differences in air pollution between locations? Can we use sensor data to improve models or help identify where more traditional monitoring methods should be directed?

Sensor testing and deployment are supported by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Other collaborative partners include Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Portland State University (PSU), Green Electronics Council (GEC), and the sensor providers: Apis (SensorCell Nodes), SenSevere (RAMPs), and Argonne National Laboratory and University of Chicago (Array of Things Nodes).

Resources

Recommendations for the Development & Implementation of Distributed Sensor Networks

News and photos

Infrastructure Monitoring Pilot

Lead

Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)

Sponsor

Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Dan Saltzman

Periodic visual inspections of transportation and built environment infrastructure can be labor intensive, time consuming, and costly without providing the adequate data needed. The AT&T Smarter Infrastructure Monitoring (SIM) solution will be deployed on three bridge structures and one hillside the City of Portland is currently monitoring. The SIM devices wirelessly transmit up to date information on cracks and tilt or earth movement which can indicate structural integrity issues. This data is needed to augment inspections of aging infrastructure and structures that are in seismically active areas, prone to flooding effects or exposed to frequent and excessive loading.

The SIM devices will be installed by PBOT Maintenance Operations crews this summer at the following locations for a 15 month pilot.

  1. Settlement Monitoring — SW Sheffield Avenue (Structure No. BR-019)
  2. Settlement Monitoring — NW Thurman Street Hillside
  3. Settlement Monitoring — Eastside Streetcar Bridge (Structure No. BR-182)
  4. Crack Monitoring — Riverwalk Steel Truss Pedestrian Bridge (Structure No. BR-158)

Project partners include AT&T.

Open Data Program

Leads

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), City Budget Office (CBO), Bureau of Technology Services (BTS)

Sponsors

Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Dan Saltzman

The City of Portland is committed to the publication, open access, and widespread sharing of data collected and generated by the City, and by private sector companies, non-profit organizations, academia, and other parties working on behalf of the City. Our Open Data Policy and Program will increase transparency, foster a culture of using data to inform and evaluate City decisions, reduce staff time devoted to responding to requests for City data, encourage innovative approaches to meeting City goals, and achieve more equitable program and service outcomes.

In 2009, Portland became the first city in the United States to adopt an Open Data Resolution (Resolution No. 36735) to encourage the expansion of the technological community by promoting open data and partnerships between City government and the public, private and nonprofit sectors, academia, and labor.

In May of 2017, Portland formally adopted an Open Data Policy and Program (Ordinance 188356) to expand upon the work completed as a part of the 2009 Resolution, establishing mechanisms for engaging all City bureaus in the proactive collection and distribution of City data. The ordinance establishes Open Data Policy to be committed to the publication, accessibility, and equitable and widespread sharing of data collected and generated by all City bureaus and by private sector companies, non-profit organizations, academic universities and other parties working on behalf of the City. The City will also strive to make data open by default.

An Open Data Program, and more intentional management of City data, is a foundation for our Smart Cities goals of using data to inform decisions, to design and evaluate policies and programs, enhance community engagement, and to partner with the private sector, researchers, and non-profits to meet City goals around livability, affordability, safety, sustainability, and equity.

News

Portland Urban Data Lake (PUDL)

Leads

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Bureau of Technology Services (BTS), Portland State University (PSU), TriMet, Metro, Portland General Electric (PGE)

Sponsors

Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Dan Saltzman

The City of Portland does not have good, centralized systems in place for managing, integrating and analyzing the data we have today, much less the large volumes of data coming from Smart Cities technologies like sensors, connected vehicle infrastructure, and private-sector services.The City needs to derive insight from data we have now, and the data we will be collecting in the future. This will help City leadership and City staff to make and evaluate decisions, design and evaluate policies and programs, enhance community engagement, and allow us to better partner with the private sector, researchers, and non-profits to meet City goals around livability, affordability, safety, sustainability, resiliency and and equity.

The Portland Urban Data Lake (PUDL) pilot will collect, store integrate, and analyze data from a variety of sources — including the Traffic Safety Sensor Pilot — to provide a foundation for data-driven decision making for the City of Portland, helping to harness the power of the City’s data.

Data does not stop at the City of Portland border. The City has partnered with PSU, TriMet, Metro, Portland General Electric, Hack Oregon and others to develop PUDL as a regional resource. We also recognize that this type of cloud-based data platform is new to the public sector, and there are many systems and tools to choose from. The plan is to start small, experiment and learn, and to recognize from the start that not everything will be successful.

Goals

  1. Collect and store data from a variety of sources, including new sensor deployments, PBOT and BPS data sources as well as other regional data sources, while respecting privacy and security needs.

  2. Develop analytics that create new insight from these data sources, and to demonstrate the effective use of Smart Cities data.

  3. Explore technologies and architectures for providing standardized, documented access to data for public sector agencies and local innovators.

Smart Autonomous Vehicles Initiative (SAVI)

Lead

City of Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)

Sponsors

Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Dan Saltzman

Portland is recognized as a leading city with respect to developing innovative technology solutions that improve our quality of life. We believe Portland can build on this legacy by developing best practices for testing autonomous vehicles (AV). Portland can show how to “do AV smart” by working with transportation providers and the public to implement testing and piloting of this technology, while advancing public safety, protection of the environment and transportation access for everyone, regardless of income.

Autonomous vehicles have the potential to be a truly transformative technology. They could benefit our communities by reducing crashes, improving first and last mile connections for public transit riders, and reducing the high cost of owning a private vehicle. They also have the potential to significantly increase traffic congestion, vehicle miles traveled, and climate pollution.

The protections and rules of the road adopted by state and local governments will substantially determine how much benefit and how much burden we experience.

It is also important that cities provide clear leadership as AV technology is tested and piloted before widespread use. AVs operating on city streets with pedestrians, people in wheelchairs, and bicyclists pose different challenges than AVs operating on open stretches of I-5 and I-84. Local streets must continue to be managed by the local agencies which know them best.

For more information, visit the SAVI project website: www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/73493

Smart Cities Steering Committee

Leads

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), Mayor’s Office,  Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Office for Community Technology (OCT), Bureau of Technology Services (BTS)

Sponsors

Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, Commissioner Nick Fish, Commissioner Amanda Fritz, Commissioner Dan Saltzman

The data and technology applications and opportunities coming to Portland change rapidly and grow quickly. To be proactive and ensure data and technology are used to support our existing City plans, the Mayor and City Council established the Smart Cities Steering Committee (SCSC) to create a citywide governance structure for our Smart Cities efforts (Resolution No. 37290, June 2017). The SCSC shares, manages, and evaluates Smart City policies and projects, funding opportunities, and potential partnerships. Coordination by the SCSC is also key for setting and implementing priorities so that data and technology investments are used to reduce disparities and do not further exacerbate inequities for our Portland community.

This coordination effort is lead by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability on behalf of the Mayor’s Office in partnership PBOT, OCT, and BTS. The SCSC has representatives from all City Commissioner’s Offices and 13 bureaus/offices. Full membership can seen on our team page.

 
 

Traffic Safety Sensor Project

Leads

Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)

Sponsors

Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Dan Saltzman

 
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Designing safer streets for all users requires accurate information about how people use the streets, including where people typically walk, bike, and drive. How fast are people actually driving? Where are pedestrians typically crossing busy streets? This information is typically collected in snapshot surveys only which are labor-intensive and time-consuming processes. The infrequent data collected by those methods also does not give our engineers and safety experts the complete story about how our roads are being used.

The Traffic Safety Sensor Initiative will pilot new sensor technology deployed to street lights to gather the data needed for full insights into how people are traveling and where potential danger spots may be. The CityIQ nodes will be installed along three of Portland’s dangerous streets with high crash rates (SE 122nd Ave, SE Hawthorne Blvd, SE Division St) in spring 2018. Through this pilot, PBOT staff will learn how sensor information can be used to make recommendations for changes to our streets so that all road users can travel safely.

Project partners include AT&T, GE, and Intel and Portland General Electric (PGE).

For more information, please visit the project website:  https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/76735

News

Vertical Infrastructure Strategic Framework

Leads

Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Office for Community Technology (OCT), Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), Office of City Attorney

Sponsors

Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Dan Saltzman

Rapidly growing demand for wireless and data services is increasing pressure on two of Portland’s finite resources: the public right of way and City-owned poles in the public right of way. PBOT leads this multi-bureau effort to develop and implement a comprehensive, proactive management plan for these assets. Activities include updates to design guidance collaborating with Bureau of Development Services, Portland Design Commission, and Historic Landmarks Commission, as well as code updates, citywide inventories of vertical infrastructure and radio frequency studies, and strategy development to address challenges and opportunities.

Resources

Strategic Framework for Poles in the Public Right-of-Way

Vertical Infrastructure in the ROW and Cellular Antennas