Healthy Living and Smart Cities

Cyber-innovation in data-driven
high-fidelity urban informatics
for healthy living
in smart & sustainable cities.

Air quality and exposure monitoring, cellular microwave networks for air quality and precipitation monitoring, advanced travelers general information systems (ATGIS).

Intellectual Merits:

This sub-area of CUTES research focuses on distributed sensing networks, cyber-physical systems, mobility/exposure tracking, and big data enabled system informatics. The Cornell ACSF (Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future)-sponsored project on Cyber-Physical Infrastructure and Informatics for Healthy Living in Smart Cities aims to 1) design a comprehensive multilayer sensor/sensing network with mobile, immobile nodes, and potentially remote sensing, 2) create an advanced suite of communication and modeling/simulation tools that interact directly with the sensing network for multi-system informatics and analytics, and 3) provide Cyber-Physical Infrastructure and Informatics to support decision making for urban infrastructure users as well as planners/managers towards mitigation of congestion and harmful emissions, improvement in environmental quality, and advancement of overall livability in smart cities. We are interested in establishing urban sensor networks to monitor phenomena such as traffic and vehicle movement, air quality (i.e. ultra-fine particles), and travelers’ exposure that have a strong local component. Such networks will have a much higher resolution both in space and in time than classical measurement systems. For this, accurate real time monitoring of atmospheric conditions at ground level is vital for hazard warning, meteorological forecasting and various environmental applications required for smart and healthy living. We reveal the potential for identifying atmospheric conditions prone to air pollution by detecting temperature inversions that trap pollutants at ground level. The technique is based on utilizing standard signal measurements from an existing cellular network during routine operation. The novelty of this work stems from revealing the great potential of cellular communication networks for detecting near-ground temperature inversions, and the adverse atmospheric conditions that can exist during such occurrence. In an ongoing research, we are looking into the opportunity to use cellular communication networks for monitoring rainfall and providing early warning against malaria in Africa.

On the other hand, transportation is a consumer-driven industry. The information provision could incentivize a more efficient travel behavior. The resulting improvements in behavior, even though small, could save millions of dollars of travel costs in a major metropolitan area. We estimate the effects of an advanced traveler general information system (ATGIS), which includes fuel consumption and health-related emissions cost information, on transportation network users’ travel choice behavior for recurrent congestion conditions.