On September 10th, smart city practitioners, innovators, thought leaders and policy makers gathered online for the City of Los Angeles’ first-ever Smart City Streetlight Conference hosted by LA Lights (known as the Bureau of Street Lighting). Mayor Eric Garcetti provided recorded opening remarks to emphasize how smart city initiatives - such as expanded 5G capability, electric vehicle charging stations and air quality sensors - have made Los Angeles a greener, safer and more connected City.
Last fall, Los Angeles became one of the first American cities to deploy streetlight mounted EV chargers. Installing EV chargers across the second-largest street lighting system in the nation will transform Angelenos’ access to affordable, reliable EV charging.
“Los Angeles is the creative capital of the world because Angelenos always embrace the challenge of thinking big and expanding their sense of what’s possible,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The Smart City Streetlight Conference puts Los Angeles’ innovative tradition on full display, demonstrating how government can be a force for good and help solve our City’s most pressing challenges.”
During the inaugural conference, LA Lights provided updates on its nationally recognized programs for LED conversion and electric vehicle charging stations. The Bureau also highlighted smart city initiatives that utilize streetlights including smart nodes which are multipurpose poles equipped with compartments for energy-efficient LED lighting, cameras, USB charging ports, EV charging, 5G network capacity and Wi-Fi. Smart nodes have been used to monitor air quality to help mitigate urban air pollution and for transitional lighting near event centers to increase public safety.
“LA Lights is utilizing technology that provides us with data and information that greatly impacts how we serve our communities and the quality of life of our residents,” said Los Angeles Board of Public Works Vice President Aura Garcia. “We are proud of what the Bureau has accomplished and what is to come in the future. I commend their efforts in moving this work forward even during these uncertain times.”
The Bureau of Street Lighting’s Strategic Plan, which was recently released, provides a smart city road map for Los Angeles and ensures that new technologies meet the diverse needs of our communities. Efforts to increase community inclusion and continue expansion of L.A.’s smart streetlights are vital as many residents are now relying on internet and cellular connectivity more than ever while working and going to school remotely. The Plan highlights the critical role of street lighting across a range of city applications, including public safety, mobility, traffic management and environmental monitoring.
“Los Angeles has led the way in showcasing how streetlight technology can be used to improve the lives of our residents and visitors. The conference was an important opportunity for us to share our experiences,” said LA Lights Executive Director Norma Isahakian. “This exchange of ideas and discussion on emerging technologies will help guide us as we continue to build a safer, smarter, and more equitable streetlighting network.”
Last week, Mayor Garcetti announced Los Angeles-based design studio Project Room as the winner of L.A. Lights the Way – a first-of-its-kind competition to design and create a new standard streetlight for the city. The winning design, also shared during today’s streetlight conference, reimagines the traditional lamp post as a bundle of tubes where each service – roadway light, pedestrian light, and telecommunications equipment – is assigned a dedicated tube fabricated of steel or aluminum. More information can be found at LALightstheWay.org.