America’s geriatric infrastructure is a well-documented problem, and the city of Los Angeles is killing two birds with one stone with its latest urban initiative: a fleet of 100 smart streetlights.
Outfitted with energy-saving LED bulbs, the new Philips-manufactured lights also serve as cellular hubs to boost LTE reception throughout the city.
Unsurprisingly, L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti praised the modernization effort:
L.A. is a world leader in LED streetlights and has more poles than any other city in America. We are now taking advantage of previously untapped real estate to give our streets better broadband connectivity and future-ready infrastructure, while generating revenue for the city. This project shows what smart infrastructure can do for Los Angeles: create jobs, save taxpayer dollars, and improve our environment.
According to Philips, L.A. is the first city in the world to deploy its SmartPoles, but it isn’t the first city to experiment with connected streetlighting. Jacksonville, Florida, and San Diego, California, are part of GE’s Intelligent Cities pilot program of lamps outfitted with all manner of sensors and data-collecting devices. Regardless of the provider, making existing infrastructure—especially something as pervasive as the streetlight—smarter is a bright idea all around.