September 19, 2019
The City of Edmonton and the University of Alberta have joined the MetroLab network, an exclusive group of international city-university partnerships that help solve some of municipalities’ greatest challenges.
“The City of Edmonton and the University of Alberta have an extensive history of working together for the benefit of our city and region,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “It’s a great opportunity to join a network of researchers to help create technological advancements that will benefit our community and the personal wellness of our residents.”
MetroLab, a network of more than 40 city-university partnerships, announced the City of Edmonton and University of Alberta as their first Canadian partners, joining Glasgow, Liverpool and Bristol as the newest members. Members of MetroLab have unique access to information-sharing and innovative research towards solving municipal challenges.
"Along with the City of Edmonton, the University of Alberta is proud to be the first Canadian city-university partnership to join the international MetroLab Network,” added David Turpin, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Alberta. “Starting with our combined research efforts in areas related to smart city infrastructure, transportation and elder care, we will develop ideas, technologies and innovations that not only transform our city, but cities worldwide."
The city-university MetroLab projects focus on connected buildings, connected people and connected vehicles. New technologies will aid in the development of smart buildings during design and construction, and help to improve facility operations and decrease operating costs. For instance, by deploying sensors in its buildings, the City aims to collect data about building performance to optimize energy use and minimize environmental impact, saving money in energy costs.
A second project, Project ANA, is developing a conversational Automated Nursing Agent for tablets and other devices, meant to help increase connectivity and well-being for independent elderly residents. By providing conversation, answering questions and reminding users of schedules and appointments, ANA will help residents to live independently while connecting them to the information and social interaction they need.
Work will also continue on the ACTIVE advanced transportation technologies project, including wireless vehicle communications, to improve the safety and movement of people and goods. Their research includes the development of pedestrian detection sensors. This project is part of an overall research portfolio that works toward improvements in traffic safety.
MetroLab will share these projects with its members and the City and University will now be able to more easily access information and expertise from other municipalities and institutions.