The Brooklyn Tech Triangle is steadily growing.
Photo credit: Brooklyn Tech Triangle

Three smart tech startups are launching pilot studies in noise pollution monitoring, digital mapping and public data analysis.

The Brooklyn Tech Triangle. Photo credit:

The Brooklyn Tech Triangle is growing and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP) announced today the launch of its“Living Lab” program, a collaboration with Brooklyn Navy Yard’s New Lab and tech startups dedicated to making life in the city more liveable. The startups will be using public spaces in Downtown Brooklyn as testing grounds for their smart city technologies and then share their findings with DBP to improve neighborhood planning.

“Brooklyn has long been home to innovative startups, so it only makes sense that we apply this local talent right here,” said Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Regina Myer. “Smart city technology is making communities around the world safer, cleaner and more beautiful places to live, and the Living Lab program brings new, data-driven solutions that will improve the quality of life here in Downtown Brooklyn, and potentially other cities.”

The three startups, Sounds of New York City (SONYC), Citiesense and Qcit, are launching pilot studies across a variety of fields in urban planning, including noise pollution monitoring, digital mapping and public data analysis.

SONYC will be deploying sensors along Fulton Street Mall to monitor noise pollution.
SONYC will be deploying sensors along Fulton Street Mall to monitor noise pollution. Photo credit: The Real Deal

SONYC developed an acoustic sensor network for the monitoring, analysis and mitigation of urban noise pollution –which is one of the topmost quality of life issues. Most cities, however, lack the resources for monitoring noise and understanding the contribution of individual sources and the means to empower city agencies to take effective, data-driven action for noise mitigation. SONYC is deploying sensors to monitor noise levels along the Fulton Mall. The data will help inform planning for the busy corridor and assist DBP’s operations team in reporting noise pollution issues to the city.

Citiesense is a neighborhood knowledge platform that assembles map-based features to assist community organizations to map, analyze and manage their neighborhood’s assets. The platform stores and analyzes information about local real estate and street conditions which helps to expedite repairs and upgrades. Citiesense will also link local properties to relevant city data, including assessed values from the Department of Finance and construction permit information from the Department of Buildings to better understand and manage real estate in Downtown Brooklyn.

With the help of A.I. (artifical intelligence), startup Qcit can sort through hundreds of data sets, such as weather data, street maps, calendars and any sensors available to help cities better understand their public spaces. This information allows urban service providers, private operators and public institutions to improve their quality of service. Through public data analysis and on-the-ground surveys, Qucit will help Downtown Brooklyn to understand its public spaces from various angles — and make the most of it.

DBP is also partnering with New Lab, a collaborative workspace based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard that’s home to over 600 entrepreneurs working in advanced technology, to make sure that local tech and innovation can be tested in Downtown Brooklyn.

“Bringing technology outside of our own walls and into the city enables entrepreneurs to test, iterate and learn in real-time,” said David Belt, CEO & co-founder of New Lab.

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  1. In order to make things easier for the new noise monitoring project, I suggest that the researchers consult Professor Holger Eisl of the Barry Commoner Center at Queens College. The Barry Commoner Center and the NYC Health Department have been studying air pollution and noise for several years as part of the New York City Community Air Survey. Their data show a correlation between hotspots of air pollution and excessive noise, both of which are deleterious to health and an obstacle to quality of life.

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