City Digital is working to address the water, infrastructure, energy, and transportation problems facing the City of Chicago. As the city tries to cope with climate change, congestion, and new and old infrastructure, it needs a plan to gather data and derive predictive analytics. Leveraging digital technology in the built environment will enhance how we live, work, and play. Through the development and deployment of innovative solutions in Chicago, we can facilitate implementation and commercialization of new technologies in other cities around the world.



Problem Statement

Cities are making major investments in green infrastructure, using of vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage water. But the ability to measure results against traditional gray infrastructure solutions (e.g. pipes, pumps, ditches, and detention ponds) remains limited.

Pilot Description

These pilots will create new, real-time sensing capabilities and cloud-based analytics to evaluate the performance of stormwater management techniques. Resulting technology and analyses will inform refinements in future designs and measurement tools, and assist Chicago, other cities, and developers in green versus gray infrastructure investment and operations decisions.

SGIM Pilot 1

The first pilot is deploying sensor packages to drive future green infrastructure design and investments and demonstrating the applicability and feasibility of the new sensing technology for monitoring green infrastructure performance.

SGIM Pilot 2

The second pilot focuses on the communication, visualization, and reporting of green infrastructure performance data.

Read more about smart green infrastructure monitoring here.



Problem Statement

Cities and utilities have limited and often inaccurate or obsolete data on underground assets, creating inefficiency, delays, unplanned costs, and risk during design and construction.

Pilot Description

This pilot will develop a new process, data storage platform, and construction scanning tools to create an accurate 3-D map of underground utilities in Chicago. Consolidated and improved data will help utilities better design and coordinate construction in city streets, resulting in fewer accidental damages and reduced construction impacts for city residents. This pilot focuses on the creation of a platform that enables virtual mapping and coordination for cataloging underground structures, such as water pipes, gas lines, power and electrical systems, subway structures, and telecommunications cabling.  The goal is to overcome inefficiencies and costs created by incomplete, paper-based systems to better coordinate underground design and permitting, reduce redundant digging operations and accidental interruptions of service, improve accuracy of utility information, and optimize the way this information is obtained.

UIM Pilot 1

Develop an engineering- grade, common, secure data platform that can create, consume, consolidate, organize, and store 3-D infrastructure data.

Read more about urban infrastructure mapping here.


Our demonstration sites are distributed across the City of Chicago, including at our 100,000 square foot facility on Goose Island.  Below is an overview of what we are doing to aid the progress of our pilots.


Pilot Objective

In collaboration with Microsoft, Senformatics, Opti, AECOM, and the City of Chicago, City Digital has installed equipment outfitted with sensors outside of its UI LABS facility within the nearby bioswale.  The landscaping is a perfect example of green infrastructure: It portrays a sunken garden that can measure the amount of rainfall and filter pollutants.  By diverting or slowing water before it reaches the sewer, the bioswale helps reduce local flooding and sewer overflow into our basements or waterways during storms.


Pilot Objective

City Digital has partnered with Tyco to produce an onsite demonstration inside the UI LABS facility.  Tyco has utilized its recent acquisition of ShopperTrak, a global provider of location-based retail insights, to boost our facility’s existing security camera technology.  This pilot demo works as an input to our Smart Building Data Service (SBDS) project platform by capturing images of our facility space utilization via video monitoring, which will provide insights that lead to improved energy efficiency and optimized promotional placement.

City Digital is currently in the planning stages for the next set of pilot projects.  These topics will spotlight transportation demand management, smart energy consumption tools, and infrastructure monitoring. If interested in participating in the pilots please contact us.