Re-Imagining Streetlight Infrastructure as a Digital Urban Platform

Urban infrastructures have traditionally been mono-functional: water, sewage, and electricity are notable examples. Embedded with digital technologies, urban infrastructures have the potential to communicate with one another and become multi-functional platforms that integrate data gathering and actuation cycles. In this paper, we focus on public lighting infrastructures. Despite the technological development of lights, including LED technology, streetlights have been primarily treated as a mono-functional infrastructure. Based on case studies, we discuss the potential of reimagining streetlight infrastructure, and advance some initial proposals that focus on sensing and actuation cycles, which could transform this pervasive infrastructure into a digital urban platform.


Re-Imagining Streetlight Infrastructure as a Digital Urban Platform
Ricardo Álvarez, Fábio Duarte, Alaa AlRadwan, Michelle Sit & Carlo Ratti
Journal of Urban Technology
Volume 24, 2017 – Issue 2

Pages 51-64 | Published online: 10 Apr 2017