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Funded by the University of Virginia Strategic Investment Fund, NPS is a collaborative of designers, planners, engineers, social scientists, and community stakeholders. We seek to address interactions between people, places, and technologies during:

  • Process: planning and designing networked public spaces;

  • Experience: being in a networked public space;

  • Response: facilitating social, political, and technical action based on open data and analysis.

Within this framework, a critical, unresolved problem for Smart Cities is bridging data analytics with humane, creative design of public spaces - the most essential physical and social environment of our cities. Our project proposes a replicable, networkable streetscape and civic infrastructure system prototype that closes the gaps between data collection, data analysis, data representation, and the physical design of these public spaces

NPS works with resident and institutional stakeholder groups to develop processes and plans for the implementation of flexible, responsive architectures and infrastructures in local public spaces. The Ostenda illuminata prototype facilitates integration of sensors within public spaces to help local communities understand environmental conditions - air pollution, noise level, CO2 levels, motion, occupancy, light intensity. Hardware and software are responsive and multifunctional, collected data will be accessible through a public real-time web map that will feature and analyze data over space and time. As a research project of the UVA Next Cities Institute (NCI), our integrated approach targets not only the technical opportunities of sensor technologies, but also envisions and establishes the materiality and humanity of public spaces.

MONA EL KHAFIF, Associate Professor Architecture and Urban + Environmental Planning, Director of Urban Design, Co-PI NPS

ANDREW MONDSCHEIN, Associate Professor Urban + Environmental Planning, MUEP Program Director,  Co-PI NPS