Staff photo by Doug Strickland / The UTC Sim Center on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Chattanooga's Smart City research on pedestrian and vehicular traffic along ML King Boulevard downtown will be expanded and visible around the globe through a new online portal made possible by a new federal grant.

Researchers at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Center for Urban Informatics and Progress (CUIP) were awarded a $1.37 million grant this week from the National Science Foundation to create "Smart Corridor+" along a section of the existing M.L. King Boulevard Smart Corridor, a 1.2-mile stretch in downtown Chattanooga.

CUIP researchers are studying traffic flow, public safety and transportation, environmental impacts and other quality-of-life issues for the downtown stretch of MLK.

"Smart Corridor+ is a major step forward for Chattanooga's Smart City research community," said Kevin Comstock, director of Smart City for Chattanooga. "The city will be able to offer state-of-the-art research technologies to the nation's top Smart City researchers. It's a huge win for everyone involved"

The National Science Foundation grant also provides funds to expand the existing MLK Smart Corridor to include a portion of U.S. 27 and its on and off ramps.

In addition, Smart Corridor+ will be available to high school students in the Chattanooga area, growing education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

CUIP works with university and laboratory researchers across the country, and Smart Corridor+ gives it the capability to collaborate with even more.


See how the testbed area of M.L. King Boulevard is being extended with the new federal grant


"We have been working toward this for some time now, and it wouldn't have happened without our close collaboration with the city of Chattanooga, EPB and The Enterprise Center," said CUIP Director Mina Sartipi. "Securing funding for this initiative is exciting. "

Once implemented, Smart Corridor+ will support growing computer science, engineering and Smart City research in Chattanooga.

"CUIP keeps Chattanooga on the cutting edge of smart community work," said Deb Socia, executive director of th Enterprise Center. "The Enterprise Center is glad to be a partner, helping to ensure that the voice of the community is represented as our city continues to embrace the opportunities that this testbed enables."

David Wade, EPB president and CEO, calls Smart Corridor+ "another major step in the effort to utilize Chattanooga's Smart City infrastructure to research and pioneer solutions that can enhance quality of life for the people in our community."

"This effort exemplifies how smart infrastructure can serve as a platform for innovation that can really make a difference in people's lives in terms public safety, improved traffic flow, positive environmental impacts and more," he said.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner