LoRa Alliance extends LPWan coverage for smart cities

LoRa Alliance extends LPWan coverage for smart cities

LoRa Alliance Press Release

The LoRa Alliance, the global association of companies backing the open LoRaWAN standard for internet of things (IoT) low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs), has announced that it has expanded the LoRaWAN link-layer standard with the addition of a relay specification. 

The relay allows for battery operated easy-to-deploy network coverage extensions at a fraction of the cost of adding additional gateways. This allows LoRaWAN to achieve excellent coverage in use cases requiring deep indoor or underground coverage, or relay data on satellite connected LoRaWAN devices within proximity. The LoRa Alliance is hosting a webinar about the new relay feature tomorrow, October 4 at 7am US PDT, click here for information or to register. 

“LoRa Alliance members identified that end users in specific markets needed a solution to achieve full network coverage due to environmental challenges surrounding their deployments,” said Donna Moore, CEO and Chairwoman of the LoRa Alliance.  

“With relay, we’re providing a standardized solution that allows for full end-to-end communications in extremely challenging underground, metal and concrete environments where sensor signals could use a boost or redirect to reach either the gateway or end-device. The new relay feature is a direct response to market needs and provides an essential building block to enable massive IoT.” 

The metering utilities sector is one of the first markets to adopt relay. Utilities represent a massive opportunity for IoT, with VDC Research estimating that worldwide LPWAN communication services revenue will reach $2.47 billion by 2025.  

Adding relay to the LoRaWAN standard to achieve coverage for even the most difficult cases (e.g., meters inside metal closets) significantly strengthens LoRaWAN’s market position in metering and utilities, and more broadly across key verticals including smart cities and buildings, and industrial IoT. Using relay is ideal for any application monitoring static assets in challenging environments. 

The LoRaWAN standard is used for long range communication, however, there can be physical limits to where LPWAN communications can reach, such as around turns, underground, where a signal needs to be reflected/relayed into a specific location, etc. LoRaWAN relays allow signals to go where they physically couldn’t go before. 

The LoRaWAN TS011-1.0.0 LoRaWAN Relay Specification document describes the relaying mechanism used to transport LoRaWAN frames bi-directionally between an end-device and gateway/network server via a battery-operated node. By enabling relay, the device can transfer LoRaWAN frames between an end-device and network when there is insufficient coverage from the gateway. 

This specification enables Network coverage extension through battery operated relay and maintains compatibility with the LoRaWAN Link-Layer standard in terms of protocol and security. The new relay nodes are battery-powered and can be installed anywhere and do not require electricity or internet connectivity.  

This makes them a very easy to deploy, low cost and low power way to extend network coverage, without needing to add additional gateways. Relay end points allow LoRaWAN to provide coverage of all devices with only a nominal cost of installation. 

StreetLight Data introduces new StreetLight Advanced Traffic Counts

StreetLight Data introduces new StreetLight Advanced Traffic Counts

Picture: StreetLight Data

StreetLight Data Inc has introduced StreetLight Advanced Traffic Counts, a new analytics product purpose-built for commercial real estate professionals, who need reliable insights to inform site selection decisions. StreetLight Data Inc is a Big Data company that provides insights into how goods, people and services move. 

For more than a decade, the company’s traffic metrics have been powering commercial real estate decisions. In an attempt to address the gaps in the industry’s access to data, StreetLight has created a dedicated offering of unmatched geographical and temporal granularity. This enables real estate analysts to understand local and regional mobility by mode, day of the week, time of day and direction of travel. This takes insights to a whole new level. 

“Our new Advanced Traffic Counts offering is a critical and powerful new tool for industry professionals engaged in site selection,” said StreetLight CEO Laura Schewel.  

“Pandemic-impacted changes in how and where we live, work, and commute continue to drive flux in local and regional traffic. Understanding granular demand by mode of travel, even the direction of traffic, can have huge implications for real estate decisions, and we are excited to give our customers the data they need to grow and manage their businesses. We know this tool will also be valuable to others seeking to understand broad national trends in mobility for its impact on emissions, equity, and the economy.” 

The offer is primarily for retail operators and commercial real estate professionals. Companies operating fast food restaurants, convenience stores, or car washes need to know the volume and flow of traffic near popular highway off-ramps and are able to determine if opening a new location would be valuable or whether closing down would not be beneficial. 

The metrics include vehicle and pedestrian counts, trip characteristics and traveler demographics for more than 8 million road sectors covering the nation. 

IFC and IDB Invest Partner with HDF Energy and Rubis to develop first green hydrogen power plant in Barbados

IFC and IDB Invest Partner with HDF Energy and Rubis to develop first green hydrogen power plant in Barbados

IFC and IDB invest partner with HDF energy and rubis to develop first green hydrogen power plant in Barbados.  

Barbados has an ambitious target of 100% renewable energy and carbon neutrality by 2030, and in line with this goal, IFC and IDB Invest are working with Hydrogene de France and Rubis to support the development of Renewstable Barbados.  

This will come in the form of a 50 MW solar generation facility with green hydrogen and lithium-ion battery storage that will produce clean electricity to the Barbadian grid. 

Additionally, the project will be home to the largest sheep farm in the island, contributing to both energy and food security of Barbados. 

Through a Collaboration Agreement, IFC will provide solar resource assessment, geotechnical and hydrological studies, and environmental life-cycle assessment, strengthening the bankability of the project for international investors to finance its construction in 2023. 

IDB Invest will do its part by financing the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of the project which will comply with IFC’s internationally recognised standards. 

“Climate change is one of the Caribbean’s most pressing challenges, which is why IFC is helping pave the way for viable and profitable renewable energy projects to help countries achieve their environmental goals.” Said Martin Spicer, IFC Director for Mexico, Columbia, Central America and The Caribbean. 

This project is the second of its kind developed by HDF in the region after one already under construction in French Guiana. 

Green hydrogen is very appealing as an electricity storage solution for many remote islands. The existing alternatives such as heavy-fuel oil and diesel are highly expensive and are highly damaging for the environment. Furthermore, countries are also very heavily reliant on fuel imports.  

“As the majority Shareholder of Renewstable Barbados, Rubis is pleased to partner with HDF, and IFC and IDB Invest on this innovative project and is committed to working closely with the Government of Barbados to secure all necessary approvals and to diligently pursue all other activities and negotiate all necessary agreements to bring this project to completion.” said Mauricio Nicholls Chief Executive Officer for Rubis in The Caribbean.  

All parties are committed to partnering with the private sector to help improve solutions that will help climate action in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Vaisala introduce the Air Quality Forecast

Vaisala introduce the Air Quality Forecast

Vaisala has announced the launch of an Air Quality Forecast which will combine air quality modelling and measurements to forecast air quality at street-level resolution, including in urban landscapes and within street canyons. 

As cities are getting bigger and more urbanised, the challenge of managing air pollution is getting more and more pressing. Measuring localised air quality can be difficult due to changing weather conditions and urban landscapes, however, Vaisala’s new Air Quality Forecast is offering a better way to see exact air quality conditions.  

The new Forecast encourages community leaders to improve air quality and protect citizens, according to Vaisala. This end-to-end solution combines modern dispersion modeling techniques, data fusion algorithms and statistical approaches. Coupled with the regional chemical transport model, local air monitoring network, and multiple meteorological data sources, the result is a comprehensive, exceptionally accurate picture of local air quality conditions, states the report. 

The company uses high-resolution forecasting and map visulisations to illustrate pollution hotspots and when the peak times are to support air quality monitoring and management. 

The hourly air quality index (AQI) and the most critical air pollutants (NO2, SO2, O3, CO, PM2.5 and PM10 ) are shown for any chosen location, in both graphical form and as a dynamic map says Vaisala. This is a powerful asset for issuing warnings of poor air quality episodes and hot spots to vulnerable groups, enhancing quality of life. 

Key benefits of this forecast include mitigating the harmful effects of air pollution, being able to gain immediate insight with hyperlocal visualisation, take effective steps to protect the public, being able to rely on comprehensive, accurate datasets and work with future proof technology. 

Vaisala is driven by passion and curiosity to create a better world. With the right access to the right information and right technology, cities can become smarter and more aware of what is going on in the environment around them. 

Amazon Web Services announces the launch of new Smart City Competency initiative

Amazon Web Services announces the launch of new Smart City Competency initiative

Amazon Web Services has announced the launch of its new Smart City Competency, an initiative that “will deliver world-class AWS Partner recommendations to customers searching to build and deploy innovative smart city solutions,” according to a statement. 

It’s intended to connect cities searching for expertise with experienced companies, having been “designed to identify, validate, and promote AWS Partners with demonstrated AWS technical expertise and proven customer success,” according to the program’s website. “The AWS Competency Partner Program has validated that the partners … have demonstrated they can help customers migrate applications and legacy infrastructure to AWS.” 

Partner companies are selected after undergoing review of their technical skills and operations, and through demonstrated customer success via case studies. 

The program is intended to assist communities during a time of unprecedented digital growth, which laces cities at the forefront of economic, social, and global challenges such as energy and water use, traffic management, sanitation, and sustainability.  

The statement highlights that “Cities, as well as state and local government agencies, are increasingly leveraging cloud solutions to improve urban infrastructure, spatial planning, and city governance.” 

The company have said that the nine partner organisations that collaborated with AWS to develop the program have helped cities around the world: identify and respond to 2,000 traffic incidents each month; deliver a 30 percent reduction in travel times in major intersections; and avoid 230,000 pounds of annual carbon dioxide emissions from solid waste management operations. 

Boston to expand bike network and public bike-share

Boston to expand bike network and public bike-share

Mayor Michelle Wu and the Boston Transportation Department have announced a 9.4-mile expansion of bike lanes providing key connections within the City’s existing bike network and the launch of a Citywide design process to bring safer streets to every neighborhood.  

This new project is part of the mayor’s plan to build on her commitment to create safe streets for all modes of transportation. To execute this plan, Boston is expanding Bluebikes to accommodate rising demand, designing traffic-calmed streets by building speed humps and raised crosswalks, and hiring more staff to aid in the design process. 

The mayor made the announcement at a press conference with community organizers from Bikes Not Bombs and Mattapan Food and Fitness, and representatives from BTD, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), the Equity and Inclusion Cabinet, the Environment Department, the Community Engagement Cabinet, the Mayor’s Office of Housing, and the Office of Economic Opportunity & Inclusion. 

“Now more than ever, the health, well-being, and economic empowerment of our communities depend on people having safe, reliable ways to get where they need to go,” said Mayor Michelle Wu.  

“We’re working to transform our streets so all road users are protected, and everyone can benefit from the opportunities across our city. Building out a safe, connected cycling network will help close transportation gaps across our neighborhoods and advance our efforts to make Boston a city for everyone.” 

“Bikes and e-bikes will play an important role in increasing access to reliable, affordable transportation in Boston and in helping to address the climate, safety, and congestion impacts of our overreliance on automobiles,” said Chief of Streets Jascha Franklin-Hodge.  

“Today’s announcement moves us closer to a future where biking is a safe and convenient option for people of all ages and abilities in every neighborhood of Boston.” 

The next three years will see the expansion of their bike network, growth of their public bike share by 40%, raised crosswalks and additional speed bumps, help for 600 women to gain confidence in riding bikes in Boston’s free learn to bike workshops for women and gender diverse adults. 

Enabling more trips by bike is essential to reaching our climate and public health goals. Approximately one-third of Boston’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. Of that, 65 percent comes from passenger vehicles.  

These emissions create public health and environmental dangers for our residents and disproportionately harm marginalised and environmentally justice communities. Delivering the Mayor’s vision will create a space where people can move, safely, reliably, and efficiently by transit, on foot, or by bike. 

WEF issues detailed blueprint for future-ready cities

WEF issues detailed blueprint for future-ready cities

The World Economic Forum has released four reports on how cities can take a systems approach to finance and deliver urban transportation projects in the wake of Covid-19, widening inequality and global conflicts. 

Each report – on city financing models, technology adoption, urban inclusion, and climate preparedness – guides city leaders with case studies and toolkits to successfully manage digital projects and new financing models to achieve more climate-ready and equitable cities, a WAM report said. 

 The Global Future Council on Cities of Tomorrow, which comprises 45 sector experts from around the world, collaborated throughout the pandemic to help struggling cities build more future-ready communities for all citizens. 

“Cities are on the frontlines of climate mitigation and adaptation. They are also under pressure to improve residents’ standard of living and increase community cohesion while progressing towards sustainable development,” said Alice Charles, Lead, Urban Transformation, World Economic Forum.  

“To meet these high expectations, cities need to develop strategies using a systems perspective to deliver net-zero carbon and climate-resilient urban infrastructure. The Global Future Council on Cities has done an extraordinary job with these reports to provide cities with the tools they need right now.” 

Together the four reports provide a roadmap for cities to become more equitable and resilient to the shocks and stresses caused by global conflict, climate change and rapidly changing technologies.  

As the Global Future Council co-chairs Carlo Ratti and Maimunah Mohd Sharif point out, preparedness on one front often has unexpected benefits elsewhere.  

Louisiana Clean Hydrogen Plan wins $50M federal grant

Louisiana Clean Hydrogen Plan wins $50M federal grant

The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded a $50 million federal grant to H2theFuture, a 25-organisation partnership that plans to develop a new offshore wind-powered hydrogen energy industry cluster in south Louisiana. 

The proposal – led by nonprofit business booster Greater New Orleans Inc. – is one of only 21 winners out of more than 500 entries in the EDA’s Build Back Better Challenge. GNO Inc. said the plan “creates a roadmap for decarbonising Louisiana’s manufacturing sector while creating new energy jobs.” 

In simplified scientific terminology, the group’s goal is to produce “green hydrogen” by splitting water with electrolysers powered by renewable electricity, such as wind. This would create a “carbon-free” energy feedstock and, according to a H2theFuture study, cut the state’s hydrogen emissions in half. 

“We are grateful for the vision of the U.S. Department of Commerce and Economic Development Administration that made H2theFuture possible,” said Michael Hecht, GNO Inc. president and CEO, in a press release.  

“Moreover, we want to recognise that this exciting project has come together due to the work and trust of two dozen organizations across south Louisiana, and we extend our gratitude to these outstanding partners, as well.” 

The 25-organisation coalition that developed the H2theFuture plan includes regional economic development organizations and planning commissions, the Port of South Louisiana, public research universities, HBCUs, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the Urban League of Louisiana, and the Louisiana Parole Project. 

The grant will be supplemented by $24.5 million in matching funds provided by the State of Louisiana, boosting the total project budget to $74.5 million. 

New York may be on the verge of tackling congestion and ending gridlock

New York may be on the verge of tackling congestion and ending gridlock

Sam Schwartz, best known to New Yorkers as “Gridlock Sam” has been advocating congestion prices for five decades. The aim of this is to discourage people from driving into crammed midtown and downtown Manhattan by charging people when they enter these zones. This is in an attempt to help fund improvements to public transport. 

A former cab driver turned traffic engineer, Mr Schwartz tried to introduce congestion pricing to the city in the 1970s and 1980s. William Vickrey, a celebrated economist who drew up the first plans for this in the 1960s, once told Mr Schwarz that it was the “one tried and true method” to reduce congestion. Singapore, London and Stockholm set up zones in 1975, 2003 and 2006, and this has cut traffic by about a quarter. 

Mayor Mike Bloomberg tried to charge drivers with congestion pricing, however, this slowly fizzled out. At last, in 2019, state lawmakers agreed to implement it south of 60th Street, making New York the first big American city to do so. The law grants exceptions to emergency vehicles, people with disabilities and households in the zone whose income is $60,000 or less. 

Despite these attempts, a new launch is on the horizon. In August the Metropolitan Transit Authority released seven tolling scenarios, with fees between $9 and $23 during peak hours for non-commercial cars. Lorries may have to pay as much as $82. 

There is no doubt that New York needs a congestion zone. According to INRIX, a transport data firm, it has the worst traffic in America. In most areas, it’s faster to walk.  

In 2018 the Partnership for New York City, a business group, calculated that congestion would shave $100bn off the economy of the city and its suburbs over the subsequent five years. New Yorkers forgo on average 102 hours a year due to traffic, or $1,600 in lost productivity. 

Many are still skeptical about the idea of charging zones. Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican congresswoman from Staten Island. She said congestion pricing was being “jammed down the throat” of her constituents, many of whom rely on cars because the borough is poorly served by public transport. 

Cab drivers and delivery workers fear getting charged multiple times and many lorry drivers, to avoid paying the tolls in Manhattan, are likely to use the Cross-Bronx expressway, a congested motorway. Richie Torres, was not happy about this idea. 

Areas are plagued with air pollution and high asthma rates so any opportunity to get traffic down in New York would be highly beneficial to its residents. However, it seems that many would rather be encouraged to use public transport, than pay in certain areas of the city. 

City of Toronto invites applications for its Deep Retrofit Challenge

City of Toronto invites applications for its Deep Retrofit Challenge

The City of Toronto has opened applications for its Deep Retrofit Challenge, which aims to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from buildings in Toronto, in support of the City’s TransformTO Net Zero climate action strategy. 

Through the Challenge, the City will provide funding to support deeper-than-planned energy retrofits in 10 to 16 privately-owned buildings, with the goal of accelerating emissions reductions and identifying pathways to net zero that can be replicated in other buildings. The Challenge is funded through a $5 million investment provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Green Infrastructure – Energy Efficient Buildings Program. 

Selected projects will receive a grant equal to 25 per cent of their total project costs up to a maximum of $500,000 (depending on gross floor area and building performance) to offset the incremental design and construction costs required to achieve maximum emissions reductions. 

Buildings must be located within Toronto and be an Ontario Building Code Part 3 building (i.e. greater than 600 square metres or greater than three storeys). Eligible buildings include: 

  • Multi-unit residential buildings (including condominiums, apartments, etc.) 
  • Commercial office buildings 
  • Mixed-use buildings (residential and commercial, including residential over commercial) 

Eligible projects must: 

  • Involve a deep retrofit that reduces both GHG emissions and energy usage by at least 50 per cent 
  • Meet a 20-year payback period or better 
  • Be completed and operational by January 1, 2025 

Projects must use a comprehensive whole-building approach, considering how components of the building work together as an integrated system. Eligible measures include: 

  • Building enclosure improvements such as insulation, high-performance windows and air sealing 
  • Energy recovery (ventilation, drain or equipment) 
  • Electric heat pumps (ground or air-source) for space hating and hot water 
  • Renewable electricity generation 
  • Building controls 

Projects will be selected through a competition-style process. A design charrette organized by the city will bring together a variety of specialists to identify energy and environmental improvements that may be achieved by the selected projects, and opportunities to advance the design to maximize emissions reductions. Net zero buildings typically eliminate the use of fossil fuels. 

City programs already in place to support building owners include the Green Will Initiative and the Better Buildings Partnership, which offers low-interest financing, expertise and support to navigate the retrofit process. Programs to support single-family homeowners include the Home Energy Loan Program and BetterHomesTO. 

States to follow California’s lead in banning gas-powered car sales by 2035

States to follow California’s lead in banning gas-powered car sales by 2035

In the wake of California announcing last week that it will ban sales of all gas-powered cars by 2035, several states have announced similar plans.  

The Clean Air Act grants California the power to implement emissions standards on new vehicles that are stricter than those at the national level and which other states can then follow. As long as states’ standards are identical to California’s they are permitted to adopt them without government approval. 

This week, the state of Virginia revealed it is tied to a 2021 state law to also phase out gas-powered cars by 2035. However, Attorney General Jason Miyares’s office said in a statement it hopes the state repeals the law, so Virginians are not bound by California’s policies. 

total of 15 states have backed California’s zero-emissions vehicle requirements, while Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts and New York have taken steps to follow suit.  

Like Virginia, both Massachusetts and Washington have so-called trigger laws in place. In Washington a 2020 law is tied to California’s emissions regulations, meaning whenever the Golden State tightens energy regulations, Washington will as well.  

bill in Massachusetts says it will follow suit if California bans gas-powered vehicles, meaning its Department of Environmental Protection is now required to write regulations for the 2035 deadline. This bill also increases rebates for residents who purchase new electric vehicles.  

In Oregon, the state’s Department of Environmental Quality announced it was looking to adopt the ban, which would mandate all new light-duty vehicle sales must transition to zero-emissions by 2035.  

Last year a New York bill was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul which aims to have all passenger cars and trucks sold in the state be zero-emission by 2035. For medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles, the deadline is 2045. 

These initiatives follow a series of changes introduced by the automobile industry as it adapts to the threat of climate change

Populus to combat curbside parking trouble with millions in new funding

Populus to combat curbside parking trouble with millions in new funding

Picture: Populus

Populus, a San Francisco-based transportation data startup is taking advantage of a hot opportunity: curbs and congestion.  

Populus has continued to ride the micromobility wave and expand into other areas such as commercial fleets, ride-hail vehicles and other new mobility forms like autonomous vehicles.

Its software-as-a-service product, which is now used by more than 100 cities across the U.S. and Israel, collects data on shared fleets like scooters, e-bikes and car-sharing.  

That data is then shared with cities to help planners and regulators understand and manage how streets are used. Cities also can use the Populus API to share information such as restrictions on motorized vehicles, preferred scooter parking areas and information on bike lanes, with mapping platforms and other third parties. 

Clewlow contends the next big, and present-day growth opportunity is with Populus’s curb management feature, which gives cities data on how curbs are used so they can set dynamic pricing and free up congestion. That opportunity is being driven by rising demand for same-day and next-day delivery. 

The company will use an $11 million venture capital raised in a Series A round to scale its existing product as well as its curb management software. The money will also be used to make key strategic hires, said Clewlow, noting that Populus hopes to double its current headcount of 25 people over the next year. 

The round was co-led by Zero Infinity Partners and Climactic with participation from Comcast Ventures and Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition Ventures. 

The data is particularly important for cities trying to reduce emissions and improve air quality. Populus says its curb management software can steer fleet operators to park in areas that reduce conflict. At the same time, smarter policies backed by Populus’ curb data can incentivize delivery operators to use smaller, more carbon efficient modes of transportation. 

In the future, Populus would like to focus on congestion pricing, which cities like New York are implementing to disincentivise driving in city centers. 

While Populus is mostly based in North America, the startup has reached as far as Tel Aviv, and is pursuing a number of pilots in major European cities, with an eye toward expansion. 

Portland City Council approves climate change emergency plan

Portland City Council approves climate change emergency plan

Portland City council has approved the city’s Climate Emergency Workplan which guides Portland’s action against climate change for the next three years.  

“The low hanging fruit is gone,” said Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) director Donnie Oliveira. “The next policy decisions and initiatives we take as a city are not going to be easy.” 

While some environmental organisations have praised the new initiative, some critics have argued that the plan is just aspirational words without any concrete metrics.  

Portland leaders declared a climate emergency in 2020, setting a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. The Climate Emergency Workplan, created by BPS, acts as a roadmap toward those goals over the next three years. 

According to the work plan, the city should focus on efforts that reduce carbon from various industry sectors and activities, sequester carbon through trees and green spaces, and build resilience against the impacts of climate change. 

The plan offers 43 suggested actions that would help Portland lower its carbon emissions and increase its climate resiliency, ranging from projects that are already in progress to ideas with no timeline or funding plan.  

Ongoing projects include shifting the city’s energy supply to completely renewable resources by 2030 in line with state goals, Portland Clean Energy Fund grant projects, and preventing food waste through the city’s composting service. 

If the priorities identified in the plan are addressed within the next three years, BPS staff predict that Portland could meet its 2030 carbon reduction goals. 

Some Extinction Rebellion members believe the plan is incomplete because it does not have the metrics other than the long-term emissions reductions goals or required timelines for when the actions need to be completed, other than existing state and federal deadlines. 

“It’s like, ‘Trust us, we’ll get it done,’” Extinction Rebellion member Lynn Handlin said. “They haven’t done enough to earn our trust.” 

During a presentation of the plan to city councilors in July, BPS director Donnie Oliveira stressed that it is time for the city to stop getting stuck in the planning phase of addressing the climate crisis, and that the plan is the legwork required to “embark on action.”  

“While we heard loud and clear that there are specifics that are missing, it would have been premature to lay out those specifics, because each action requires and deserves a really thorough process to include stakeholders, appropriate allocation of resources, the long-term investments in terms of capitol, and, frankly, making sure we have all of the people at the table needed to make the highest and best-informed decisions,” Oliveira said.  

EPB launches America’s first community-wide 25 gig internet service

EPB launches America’s first community-wide 25 gig internet service

Chattanooga’s municipal utility has launched America’s first comprehensively available Gig-speed internet service and the first 10-Gig internet service, EPB has launched the nation’s first community-wide 25 gigabits per second internet service, which will be available to all residential and commercial customers over 100% fiber optic network with symmetrical upload and download speeds. 

This project will continue the city’s focus on delivering the world’s fastest speeds. Through a partnership with Hamilton County and the City of Chattanooga, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Convention Center is EPB’s first 25 Gig customer, making it the first convention center worldwide to offer such blazingly fast speeds over a broadband network.  

With this technology, the Convention Center will be able to simultaneously provide high bandwidth connectivity to thousands of smart devices to draw business conferences, e-gaming competitions, live streaming events and more. 

EPB is keeping Chattanooga on the cutting edge,” said Vicky Gregg, EPB Board Chair. “We are once again breaking the typical approach for internet service providers by proactively upgrading to the latest technologies in anticipation of future needs. Our goal is to enable new frontiers for technical innovation and job creation for our customers to the benefit of our whole community.”
 

Both parties have dedicated $151,000 in infrastructure funding for a total of $302,000 to cover the cost of installing new networking equipment and Wi-Fi access points throughout the convention center as well as much of the cost providing multi-gig connectivity for the next five years. Once the equipment is installed, visitors will be able to benefit from high-speed connectivity throughout the facility. 

“The new 25 Gig internet service gives our Convention Center a major competitive advantage in drawing business conferences, conventions, e-gaming competitions and other events that bring tens of thousands of visitors and many millions of dollars in spending into our local economy,” said Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger.  

“Throughout my time as Mayor, I’ve placed a primary focus on supporting new economic opportunities for the people of Hamilton County. I’m proud to stand with the Hamilton County Commission, the City of Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Tourism Co., the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and EPB in launching this new job creation tool which will serve our community for many years to come.” 

EPB’s Gig-Speed internet has helped the Chattanooga region earn many prestigious accolades while boosting the community’s rank among tech hot spots.  

David Roberts: Vision Zero and Sustainable Solutions

David Roberts: Vision Zero and Sustainable Solutions

We spoke with David Roberts, CEO of Verra Mobility about some of their innovative industry solutions and how these can make cities smarter and safer!

Verra Mobility are one of our platinum sponsors fore MOVE America this year!

Verra Mobility is a global leader in smart mobility technology that makes transportation safer, smarter and more connected.

They enable smarter roadways by providing integrated technology to manage tolls, violations and vehicle registrations for our commercial customers. As cities become smarter and mobility becomes more complex, connected and automated, Verra Mobility makes life safer and easier on the road ahead.

Jon Baldwin, EVP of Government Solutions will be joining a panel at MOVE America to discuss how new tech is reducing traffic flow and increasing safety.

Find out more about Verra Mobility at: Verra Mobility

Don’t miss out on seeing Verra Mobility at MOVE America! Find out more at: MOVE America 2022

Lyft to power share bike expansion in Mexico City

Lyft to power share bike expansion in Mexico City

Lyft will provide the hardware and software for Mexico City’s wide-scale expansion of its Ecobici bike-share system.  

Under the collaboration, Lyft will supply the bikes, collection points, app, website and back-end operator software for the ecosystem. The project represents the largest application of Lyft’s micromobility solutions to date.  

“Providing our in-house developed bike-share hardware and software ecosystem to cities allows Lyft to expand our impact globally by working with experienced and well-established partners to run the system day-to-day,” said David Foster, Lyft’s head of transit, bikes and scooters. 

Ecobici was first unveiled in 2010 and has seen more than 73 million trips since then, marking the second highest ridership of bike-share systems in North America, following New York. Since its launch, Ecobici has steadily expanded the number of bikes it offers, with 207 new stations added in July to service 32 neighborhoods. 

The recent news marks a renovation of the newly expanded system, announced earlier this month by Mexico City’s mobility department, Semovi. The project will replace existing Ecobici stations with Lyft-provided alternatives before new locations are added in 2023. Lyft estimates the collaboration will help grow Ecobici’s system from 6,500 to 9,300 bicycles and 480 to 687 stations.  

Lyft launched an all-electric robotaxi service in Las Vegas alongside Motional earlier this month. 

Start-Up Mooven starts new venture in the U.S

Start-Up Mooven starts new venture in the U.S

New Zealand-founded Mooven has expanded its horizons to the U.S by opening an office in San Fransisco to lead the company’s global expansion. 

The start-up was established in 2017 and the new U.S venture will continue its mission of reshaping economics and how infrastructure is delivered making cities smarter and create community impact.  

“There’s an expanding gap between what is being delivered and what is actually needed for transport infrastructure in the United States,” said Mooven CEO and co-founder Micah Gabriels. 

“With 43% of the country’s roads in poor or mediocre condition, these challenges cannot be solved by maintaining the status quo. The industry has suffered flat productivity for decades, with other sectors speeding ahead in line with the digital economy.” 

Mooven has achieved success in the Australia and New Zealand markets by assisting government authorities and construction companies in implementing smarter ways of working to accelerate the transition to smart cities.  

The company does this by giving decision-makers greater access to the right data and contextual awareness, which helps them speed up completing infrastructure projects without disrupting local communities. 

Mooven notes that its expansion to the US follows the passing of President Biden’s USD $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which will offer significant stimulus funding and growth for the sector, intending to repair a backlog in transport systems, modernise existing infrastructure and support the move to a clean economy. 

The San Francisco branch will be Mooven’s main US office, primarily focusing its efforts on the west coast of North America, with the area frequenting heavier traffic congestion and less developed public transport. 

“Our experience in Australia and New Zealand put us in a unique position to export our advanced IP and knowledge to a similar but much larger market,” The CEO added. 

“The US, like Australia and New Zealand are unusual in the developed world with large road networks per capita and relatively low public transport usage.” 

Taking a step into the U.S market will position Mooven to make a lasting impact on infrastructure and will create a space in which cities are able to thrive. 

Public-private partnership pilot program to provide free transportation to low-income residents in Pittsburgh

Public-private partnership pilot program to provide free transportation to low-income residents in Pittsburgh

The city of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and Spin have launched a study that will give up to 50 low-income residents in Pittsburgh, Penn., free access to shared mobility and public transit services to study its effects on participants’ socioeconomic progress.   

Universal or guaranteed mobility is considered one of the main barriers for enabling upward socioeconomic mobility. The year-long research will study the potential of free transportation to improve people’s economic, health and social outcomes when financial barriers to transportation are removed, with a goal of improving access to jobs, education, healthcare, social services and recreational activities.  

The trial will focus on residents of the Manchester and Chateau neighborhoods with recruiting and ongoing support provided by the Manchester Citizens Corporation. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) will evaluate the trial.  

Eligible participants will receive free access to the Move PGH transportation services including public transit, Spin scooters, POGOH bikes and Zipcar. The pilot is funded by a $200,000 grant awarded from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, with Spin contributing an additional $50,000.  

“Having access to affordable and reliable transportation is critical in helping families across our city find a pathway to prosperity,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey. 

“This pilot program will help us more fully understand just how much of an impact transportation has on the lives and wellbeing of people in Pittsburgh”. 

In total, 100 people will take part in the pilot and will be randomly allocated to two groups: 50 of them will receive free access to Move PGH transportation services and 50 of them will not for comparison (Those in the control group will receive financial compensation for taking part in the research).  

Analysis will include survey and travel behavior data collected from participants and the transportation service providers, along with anonymised details on participants’ income and use of various forms of public assistance from the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. The research is expected to conclude next summer. 

“Affordable transportation is a huge issue in Manchester and many of our neighbors, unfortunately, don’t have many opportunities within their own neighborhood and need to go elsewhere,” said LaShawn Burton Faulk, executive director, Manchester Citizens Corporation. 

“We are excited to be home to this UBM pilot and see how it might improve the quality of life of our most vulnerable Manchestrians.    

Oakland, California, planning e-bike lending to cut congestion and carbon

Oakland, California, planning e-bike lending to cut congestion and carbon

The city of Oakland, California, is using a state grant to offer bicycle lending, along with instruction on how to ride a bike and maintenance, in low-income neighborhoods to reduce congestion and carbon emissions.  

The city is currently in the middle of its five-year Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot Program projec t, funded last year with a $1 million grant from the California Air Resources Board. The CARB grants are designed to support zero-emission mobility projects that help communities overcome residents’ transportation challenges. 

The City of Oakland Department of Transportation is joining with GRID Alternatives Bay Area, a non-profit dedicated to promoting renewable energy. 

The city is aiming to provide a mix of e-bikes and adaptive cycles to help people 18 and older, including those who have physical mobility limitations, reduce dependence on cars. 

The mix will include side-by-side tandems, tricycles, cargo bikes and handcycles. OakDOT dropped an earlier plan to include scooters, said OakDOT New Mobility Supervisor Kerby Olsen. 

OakDOT and GRID Alternatives plan to partner with local bike shops to provide maintenance and instruction on how to use the vehicles. Participants must also know how to ride a bike, and if not, they will be referred to programs that teach cycling.  

The city is hoping for an Oct. 15 launch but hasn’t determined the terms or finalized the date yet, which are dependent on “supply chain issues”. 

OakDOT came up with the idea while conducting community outreach for a bikes plan, Olsen said. It is currently surveying residents and planning focus groups, which will help determine details like the vehicle mix, pricing and length of rentals, though they will be for medium and long-term, not daily, use.  

The future of the program depends on how it works but their one aim is to lead people to possible state and federal subsidy programs that may provide tax advantages or vouchers to buy e-bikes. 

Ohio Supreme Court upholds permit for North America’s first freshwater wind farm

Ohio Supreme Court upholds permit for North America’s first freshwater wind farm

The Supreme Court of Ohio has upheld a permit for the 20.7-MW Icebreaker wind farm, a demonstation project that is poised to be the first freshwater windfarm in the United States. In a 6-1 decision, the court rejected arguments the Ohio Power Siting Board in May 2020 improperly issued a siting permit for the proposed project in Lake Erie.  

The permit was challenged by two people who were concerned the Icebreaker project would lead to more wind farms on Lake Erie. With a third of the project under contract to the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, the decision clears the way for Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., the project developer, to market the rest of the project’s power, the public-private partnership said. 

Already there is an emerging U.S offshore wind sector along the East and West coasts, but the court ruling signals a possible opportunity for the Great Lakes. 

“The court’s decision preserves the economic potential this project can unlock for the region,” said Will Friedman, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority president and CEO. 

“Other states are nipping at our heels to attract offshore wind and its economic benefits. We don’t want to squander this opportunity and let 15 years of work slip away to other states eager to capture market share.”  

The project is said to be built on 4.2 acres which is nine miles from Cleveland. LEEDCo said the project has received approvals from agencies including the Ohio EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  

It also has a generator interconnection agreement with the PJM Interconnection to connect to the grid, according to the project developer