Building a Smarter New Haven

How we think about and experience transportation is likely to undergo radical change in the coming years. Right now cities like New Haven are trying to anticipate the infrastructure that will be needed in the next few decades. Because of the rapid change of technology those predictions are difficult, yet new technologies also hold tremendous possibility for improving city life.

Think about all the possibilities if we have a smarter transportation system in New Haven. Can implement innovations to make the city safer for pedestrians and bikers? Can make commutes faster and revolutionize the public transportation experience? Reduce our carbon footprint?

At MakeHaven we love learning and thinking about all the technologies of the future, so when we heard that the City of New Haven was considering entering the Department of Transportation's $40 million Smart City Challenge we jumped at the chance to help. The Smart City Challenge winning city will receive federal resources of up to $40 million to move forward bold, data-driven ideas to make transportation safer, easier, and more reliable.  The DOT put out a short video on the challenge.

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To help develop the New Haven application to the program we hosted a brainstorming session with Douglas Hausladen, Director of Department of Transportation, Traffic and Parking.

Early in the brainstorm we identified many big trends and technologies which will impact the future of transportation. $40 million is a lot of money but not enough to develop big brand new technologies. What we were looking for were ways to mash up existing technologies in innovative ways that have a tangible benefit now and better prepare us to be the city we want to become.

What did we come up with? Lots of ideas. Many that invoved traffic singaling, image recognition and bike safety.

Do you have any ideas for what innovations could built the transportation system of tomorrow in New Haven?  There is $40 million waiting for the right idea. 

Let us know what you think should be done in the comments.