Come late June, city electricians are expected to start strapping beehive-shaped sensor boxes to municipal light poles — environmental Fitbits for neighborhoods, essentially.
How's the air quality? Where does rainwater pool? Where do air temperatures spike?
The 14-inch-high cylinders filled with sensors and cameras — developed by computer scientists and designers at Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago — should shed light on stubborn urban problems — everything from asthma clusters and flood-prone intersections to so-called "heat islands," densely developed corners of the city that trap heat. Ultimately, the data should lead to affordable, energy-efficient solutions to those problems and others.
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