Carnegie Mellon University

News & Events

CMU researchers across multiple disciplines bring their expertise together through the Metro21: Smart Cities Institute. Their game-changing urban solutions are getting attention.

10th Annual Sustainability Conference - Smart Cities: Transforming Cities for a New Era

The 10th annual Sustainability Conference is scheduled for March 6 2019 at the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh. The event is co-hosted by Metro21: Smart Cities Institute, The American Society of Civil Engineers (Pittsburgh Section), The Environmental and Water Resources Institute (Pittsburgh Chapter) and Sustainable Pittsburgh / Champions for Sustainability

Round-Up of RoadBotics Awards & Accomplishments

Roadbotics, founded in 2016 at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute, set out to create a way for cities to have automated and affordable road surveys using smartphones. Over the past 6 months, Roadbotics have won multiple awards and contracts for its innovative solution to better monitor the condition of street pavement in cities around the country.

Lunch and Learn: Light Smart: dark-sky friendly artificial lighting with Diane Turnshek

Join Metro21 on February 15, 2019 in Hamburg Hall to hear from Diane Turnshek. She will discuss how we've lost our connection to the night sky, and how the City of Pittsburgh is trying to reconnect citizens by refitting 40K streetlights over the next two years -- replacing high pressure sodium vapor bulbs with much more efficient, 2700K or less, shielded, dimmable LEDs and creating clear nthe first, publicly available, high resolution light pollution map of a city.

Metro21 January Newsletter

We kick off the newsletter with project updates from the Inaugural Metro21 Call for Proposals grantees. It’s been about 3 months since we awarded funding to 12 pilot projects and they’re already making an impact. Check out the newsletter to learn more.

Women Executives Breakfast in NYC on Feb 7, 2019

Metro21's Executive Director, Karen Lightman is a panelist at the New York Women Executives in Real Estate (WX) is hosting the WX February Breakfast - The Future of Transportation and It's Effect On Urban Centers on February 7, 2019 at 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM at the Harvard Club in NYC.

Metro21 Podcast: Using Data Analytics to Solve Complex Societal Challenges with Alexandre Jacquillat

On this podcast we talk to Alexandre Jacquillat, a cross-functional professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Alex’s work focuses on using operations research and data analytics to solve complex societal challenges in the fields of air transportation and on-demand urban mobility.

Metro21’s Exec. Director Joins MetroLab Network’s Board of Directors

Metro21: Smart Cities Institute elected to the MetroLab Network's Board of Directors for the 2019 - 2022 term.

Metro21 Executive Director Talks about AI and Potholes in Axios

Metro21's Executive Director, Karen Lightman, has taken on another role: Expert Voice for Axios. In her latest article "AI Takes on Potholes" she describes how poor infrastructure has a lot of consequences, including the delay of AVs deployment.

MobilityLab: In Pittsburgh, machine learning improves traffic for all road users – not just cars

MobilityLab sat down with Metro21's Executive Director, Karen Lightman to discuss how Pittsburgh is using Surtrac technology to make roads safer for all road users and not just more efficient for cars.

Lecture Series at Heinz College Featuring Dan O'Brien on January 29

Dan O'Brien, Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University, is coming to Heinz College on January 29, 2019 to talk about his new book, "The Urban Commons: How Data and Technology Can Rebuild Our Communities"

Metro21 Lunch & Learn with Nick Muller

Metro21 Lunch and Learn on January 18 will feature Nicholas Z. Muller, Lester and Judith Lave Associate Professor of Economics, Engineering, and Public Policy, Tepper School of Business, Department of Engineering and Public Policy who will talk about "An Index for Economic and Environmental Performance: Methods with an Application to Pittsburgh"

Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus (PAIC) Announcement

On December 6, 2018, the Allegheny County Airport Authority broke ground on the Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus (PAIC), a new mixed-use campus near the Pittsburgh International Airport.

Pittsburgh’s Smart Traffic Signal's Started at CMU

Mayor Bill Peduto recently announced an expansion of Pittsburgh’s “smart” traffic signals, investing more than $11 million to reduce travel time for Pittsburgh commuters. Smart traffic-management systems have been in Pittsburgh since 2012 with the Launch of a Smart City's project.

CMU Professor Wants Pittsburgh to be The Smartest of Smart Cities

Pittsburgh Magazine features Carnegie Mellon University’s Computer Science and Robotics Professor, Jessica Hodgins and her dream for Pittsburgh becoming the Smartest of the Smart Cities.

7 Things You Can Do for Your Community - Metro21 Exec. Director Quoted in Forbes

Metro21’s Executive Director, Karen Lightman, was featured in a Forbes Magazine article about her appearance at the Brookings Institute’s panel on cities initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint and combat climate change.

Brookings & CMU Co-Host Sustainable Development Goals Event

On November 29, 2018, the Global Economy and Development Program at Brookings and Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy will co-host an event with the City of Pittsburgh and development experts to explore the value proposition of the SDGs for U.S. cities.

Metro21 Faculty, Don Carter Presents at City of Asylum

Metro21 Faculty, Don Carter, presents his book new book "Remaking Post-Industrial Cities" at City of Asylum @ Alphabet City Book Store.

Metro21 Podcast: Diane Turnshek Talks Light Pollution and the Night Sky

In this episode of the Metro21 podcast, Karen Lightman talks with Diane Turnshek about light pollution. Diane defines light pollution, describes why it's a problem and offers solutions.

Metro21 is tied to Montgomery, Alabama's Smart City Award

Metro21’s faculty Christopher Mertz was a driving force in Montgomery, Alabama being recognized nationally as one of the most technologically advanced cities in the country. The City of Montgomery was awarded the 2018 Digital Cities Survey from the Center for Digital Government.

Metro21 Executive Director Talks "The Curb" in Axios

Metro21: Smart Cities Institute's Executive Director, Karen Lightman, published in Axios for her article titled "Ride-sharing and AVs will primpt cities to rethink the curb."

Metro21 Faculty, Don Carter Talks Waterfront Development with U.S. News

U.S. News featured their article “Banking on the River” and Metro21 Faculty, Don Carter, Director of Remaking Cities Institute at CMU, is featured in the article describing how post-industrial cities are replacing steel mills with trees and parks.

Metro21 Lunch and Learn with Grant Ervin

Lunch and Learn featuring the “State of Activity of PGH Office of Resiliency” with Metro21 on October 30 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. in Hamburg Hall Room 1002 at Carnegie Mellon University.

Research Article: The smart city: challenges for the civil engineering sector

The concept of the smart city has been rising for over a decade but what has been less understood is the distinct ways in which engineering, and particularly digital infrastructure, is related to and affects social, political and economic processes.

Rail~Volution Comes to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has been changing the way people think about mobility - and the way people think about Pittsburgh. From a leader in steel to a leader in smart traffic light technology, autonomous vehicles, bike lanes and transportation policy, it’s no surprise Rail~Volution has decided to host their annual conference in the Steel City.

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joins Metro21

Secretary Anthony Foxx has been appointed distinguished executive in residence at CMU, and will work with Metro21 to help students understand how to most effectively bring people, policy and technology together to significantly improve the quality of life for citizens living in metropolitan areas.

Metro21 Director, Raj Rajkumar is quoted on Autonomous Vehicles in Axios

Raj Rajkumar, Director of Metro21: Smart Cities Institute is quoted in Axios: "Driving is the most complex activity that most adults engage in on a regular basis, just because we do it doesn't mean we can teach computers to easily do it. It will be many more years for full automation.

Metro21 Faculty Awarded Over $2.5M as Part of DOE’s Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research Investment

To continue to improve energy efficiency and increase mobility intelligence, Metro21’s, Sean Qian and Costa Samaras were awarded over $2.5 million in combined funding from the Department of Energy.

Inaugural Grant Cycle Reveals Smart Cities Innovation Across CMU

Metro21’s first call for research proposals as a university-wide institute was a great success, yielding proposals from researchers housed at every college on campus, with topics ranging from equitable mobility to public safety and citizen engagement. Grantees are announced.

Driverless Cars Run on Data Not Gasoline

Metro21 Director, Raj Rajkumar, was in New York City to speak on a Panel at the Bloomberg Live Event, “The Value of Data." The event focused on looking through the lens of emerging technologies like IoT, Blockchain and more, to examine how data is becoming the world’s most valuable asset, making innovation possible and transforming the way we make decisions for the future.

The City of Tomorrow Challenge is in Pittsburgh Today!

How might we design commutes in Pittsburgh that are seamless, welcoming, and intuitive? Submit your proposals for improving the way people move around Pittsburgh for a chance to win up to $100K to bring your idea to life. Proposals will be accepted until September 18, 2018.

Dean Krishnan is a Keynote Speaker at QS in Conversation in Singapore

The upcoming QS in Conversation Seminar with the theme University-Public Sector Partnerships and a focus on Smart Cities is being held in Singapore on October 3 – October 5 and the Dean of Heinz College, Krishnan Ramayya, is a keynote speaker.

Metro21 Podcast: Using Data to Find Solutions with Erin Dalton

In this episode, Karen sits down with Erin Dalton, Allegheny County’s Deputy Director in the Office of Data Analysis, Research and Evaluation. Listen to hear how she has been at the forefront of using data and heavy analysis to find solutions to complex problems here in the Pittsburgh region. Also, you might be surprised with her job and multiple board memberships, what she does to relax.

Tesla Offers Two Week Trial of Autopilot

Tesla is offering a two week free trial of their Autopilot feature - but are American roads ready for "assisted mobility" cars? Read what Metro21 Director, Raj Rajkumar thinks about the technology.

Metro21 Lunch & Learn with Bob Gradeck

Metro21: Smart Cities Institute is launching a new Lunch and Learn Speaker Series. Join us on September 28 at 12:00 in Hamburg Hall Room 1005 for free lunch and an engaging presentation from Bob Gradeck of the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center.

2018 NASPAA Annual Conference

The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) is hosting their annual conference in Atlanta Georgia on October 10 – 13, 2018 and Metro21 will be represented by our Exec. Director, Karen Lightman.

MetroLab Network Annual Summit 2018

The MetroLab Network Annual Summit is open for registration! The Summit is October 15 & October 16 at Hotel Indigo in Newark, NJ. Metro21's Exec. Director, Karen Lightman will be moderating the panel on "Programs that Strengthen City/University Partnerships."

Metro21’s Director, Raj Rajkumar, Moderates Conversation at Tepper Quad's Grand Opening

Join Metro21's Director, Raj Rajkumar for a Moderated Conversation: At the Intersection of Technology and Business:Smart Home, Smart Car, Smart City at the inaugural Tepper School of Business Presents INTERSECT@CMU on Friday, September 14.

Metro21 Director, Raj Rajkumar, Comments on PennDOT’s New Guidance for Automated Vehicles

Director of Metro21: Smart Cities Institute gives a comment to TribLIVE on PennDOT's new Guidance for Increased Safety Oversight of Highly Automated Vehicles.

Metro21 Podcast: Unlocking the Power of Mobility with Karina Ricks

In this episode, Karen sits down with her friend and colleague, Karina Ricks. Karen and Karina chat about her time in international development, consulting, and Karina's fascination with a certain genre of reality television.

Metro21 Discusses Collaborative Problem Solving in Cities on Comcast Newsmakers

Karen Lightman, Executive Director of Metro21: Smart Cities Institute, talks with host Sheila Hyland from Comcast Newsmakers about collaborative initiatives and using science to solve problems in cities and communities.

Metro21's Project, Surtrac 2.0, Featured in The Wall Street Journal

Metro21 Project Featured in Wall Street Journal: Artificial Intelligence May Make Traffic Congestion a Thing of the Past

Metro21 Podcast: Commitment to Place with Rick Stafford

In this episode, Karen sits down with Distinguished Fellow Rick Stafford. Rick talks about his commitment to place, his winding path from paper boy to policymaker, and his approach to understanding smart cities.

Metro21: Call for Research Proposals

We are looking to fund new projects that seek to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas. Send us your best ideas.

Metro21 Podcast: The Science of Smart Cities with Director Raj Rajkumar

In our second episode, Karen sits down with CMU Professor Raj Rajkumar, Director of Metro21. They discuss his background, his journey to and through autonomous vehicle technology, and the science of smart cities.

3D Visualization Project Highlighted by CMU

In a recent article, Carnegie Mellon University highlighted our project with the Remaking Cities Institute.

Highlights from the Metro21: Smart Cities Institute Launch Event

On March 1st and 2nd, we celebrated the launch of the Metro21: Smart Cities Institute! We are starting a new phase in our mission to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas through Research, Development, and Deployment of smart cities technologies.

CMU and Allegheny County Airport Authority Sign MOU

Carnegie Mellon University and the Allegheny County Airport Authority announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.

Launch of the Metro21: Smart Cities Institute Podcast

In our inaugural episode, Director Karen Lightman sits down with Prof. Kleiman to discuss his new book, A New City O/S: The Power of Open, Collaborative, and Distributed Governance.

City and Carnegie Mellon Highlight Fire Prediction Analytics Work

Mayor William Peduto joined officials from the Departments of Public Safety and Innovation & Performance and from Carnegie Mellon University to detail collaborative efforts to use data sharing to provide Pittsburgh residents with better city services.

Videos from the Metro21 Institute Launch

Videos from the Metro21 Institute Launch event are now available.

Launching the Metro21: Smart Cities Institute

Carnegie Mellon University hosted a one-day conference on March 2 to formally launch the Metro21: Smart Cities Institute, a university-wide effort for research, development and deployment of solutions to improve the quality of life in communities.

PIPLA Breakfast Meeting

Karen Lightman spoke at Pennsylvania Intellectual Property Law Association (PIPLA) Breakfast Meeting on Innovation and Performance Initiatives in Pittsburgh

Metro21 Panel Discussion with Neil Kleiman and Local Government Officials

New York University professor Neil Kleiman shares the latest from his book co-authored with former mayor and Harvard professor Stephen Goldsmith, A New City O/S: The Power of Open, Collaborative, and Distributed Governance.

CMU Highlighted in CityLab Interview with Mayor Peduto

In an interview from CityLab, Richard Florida points to the historic Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Pittsburgh and CMU as a driver of innovation in the city.

Fire Risk Project Named MetroLab's Innovation of the Month

Our Fire Risk Analysis Project - in partnership with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire - has been chosen as MetroLab's Innovation of the Month for January.

Blog: Stone Soup and Smart Cities

Creating a viable smart city is a lot like the old folk tale of stone soup. Everyone needs to bring something to the community pot in order for everyone to benefit.

A New City O/S with Neil Kleiman

Presented in partnership with Metro21: Smart Cities Initiative, Heinz College is pleased to present New York University professor Neil Kleiman who will share the latest from his book "A New City O/S: The Power of Open, Collaborative, and Distributed Governance."

Karen Lightman Featured in EE Times' Women in Tech Series

Karen Lightman, executive director of Metro21, speaks mentors and motherhood in Electronic Engineering Times' Women in Tech series.

Carter Receives 2017 American Institute of Architects PA Medal of Distinction

Don Carter, a Metro21 faculty person and David Lewis director of Urban Design and Regional Engagement of CMU's Remaking Cities Institute, received the 2017 American Institute of Architects Pennsylvania Medal of Distinction for his contributions to architecture.

Helping Stop Crime Before It Occurs

CMU Metro21-funded researchers develop predictive policing model as a new tool for community policing and reducing crime.

Metro21 Technologies Win Le Monde Smart Cities Competition

Surtrac, an innovative, real-time traffic signal control technology from Carnegie Mellon University's Metro21: Smart Cities Initiative, has won the Le Monde Smart Cities Global Innovation Award in the mobility category.

LED Street Light Research Project Part II

Steve Quick, Don Carter, Kayvon Fatahalian, Cynthia Limauro at The Remaking Cities Institute (RCI) at CMU partnered with the City of Pittsburgh and C&C Lighting to test the effects of installing LED streetlights throughout Pittsburgh. Is there more than meets the eye?

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