Smart Cities Week Comes to DowntownDC

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

By Scott Pomeroy

Want to learn what it takes to be a “Smart City?” Attend the second annual Smart Cities Week Sept. 27-29 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

At this event, you will explore how innovation and technology is being applied in cities to provide real-time visitor information, manage public waste, operate healthier and more efficient buildings and more. Smart Cities Week is the place to hear from and meet with local and international smart city innovators.

At this year's event, the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) will be showcasing its DCitypost pilot project, a partnership with Smart City Media to install interactive kiosks in Downtown for visitors as well as residents and workers to find relevant and timely hyper-local information about transit, businesses, events and more. These innovative, smart kiosks are designed to house environmental sensors to monitor air quality, noise levels and other quality of life issues as part of a partnership with George Washington University and the D.C. government.

[Related article by The Architect's Newspaper: "Washington, D.C.’s new digital kiosks and sensor network will harvest a wealth of urban data"]

Some of the kiosks' air quality sensors will transmit data through a new LoRaWan network, one of the first of its kind in North America. The technology utilized in the DowntownDC pilot is designed to connect low-cost, battery-operated sensors over long distances, enabling monitoring that would otherwise be cost prohibitive to implement. The pilot air quality sensor network, donated by Senet, will provide the foundation for innovation and experimentation as new sensors are developed for monitoring conditions in buildings and public space.

Two additional local pilot programs, discussed at this year's Smart Cities Week will deploy sensors in Chinatown to the DowntownDC BID and in Anacostia with the Anacostia Business Improvement District (BID) to monitor fill levels of public waste bins. The sensors will notify the BIDs and the D.C. Department of Public Works when waste receptacles need to be emptied, while software provides optimal routing for the servicing of the bins.

These programs and more will be on display during Smart Cities Week.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from other cities that have deployed new technologies and initiatives to enhance local priorities around economic development, equity, transit, storm water management, energy and other issues. Local speakers participating include:

  • Archana Vemulapalli, Chief Technology Officer, Washington, DC
  • Tom Kuczynski, Chief Information Officer, DC Water and Sewer Authority
  • Lisa Ragain, Principal Water Resources Planner, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
  • Scott Pomeroy, Director of Sustainability Initiatives, DowntownDC Business Improvement District
  • Andy Finke, Chief Operating Officer, DC Central Kitchen

[Click here for the full program and list of speakers.]

Government employees and city officials are eligible for complimentary passes to Smart Cities Week. To learn more, email Or, interested attendees can register for a free pass to visit the expo floor to hear case study presentations on successful smart city deployments, visit Innovation Alley or see the latest smart technology in action.

Register today for your FREE pass here.