CurbPHX Sidewalk Inventory

Overview

The City of Phoenix and the Arizona State University Smart City Cloud Innovation Center Power by AWS (ASU CIC) are coming together to develop a complete sidewalk data inventory. A sidewalk inventory is a data bank with a collection of attributes about the sidewalk, including height, width, condition, existence of ramps and curb cuts and the presence of obstructions such as street furniture. The City of Phoenix will use this data to better understand and improve pedestrian mobility and safety and improve curb and sidewalk management. 

Problem

As one of the the fastest growing cities in the United States, Phoenix has a constant need to update its sidewalk inventory to include new developments. The City has the opportunity to expand the data sets used to understand the location and condition of sidewalks and curb ramps. Access to sidewalk data makes it possible to identify and prioritize funding for infrastructure investments. A sidewalk data layer supports the ability to measure the impact of projects on the City’s sidewalk and ramp network. Residents and staff also benefit from an ability to provide input on hazards identified on the sidewalks. A sidewalk layer also helps to identify areas of need and support the use of mobility resources.

Approach

Working together, the City of Phoenix and the CIC envisioned a new solution: CurbPHX. CurbPHX is a comprehensive digital inventory of all sidewalks and curb ramps in the city. This data bank can record features such as width, obstruction, curb height, or other accessibility issues. 

An initial data set composed of images of sidewalk and curbs will be constructed and further data will be crowdsourced from the citizens themselves as areas needing improvement in their community are identified. The ASU CIC envisions a machine learning and geographic information system (GIS) framework that can process the high amounts of data. With the ability to collect, analyze, and store data on Phoenix’s sidewalk network, the City of Phoenix will be able to effectively identify areas that need repair and improve pedestrian safety and mobility. 

 

Supporting Artifacts

The Amazon Working Backwards process produces three artifacts - a Press Release (PR), a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), and a Visual depiction of the user experience. The PR and FAQ are below. 

Next Steps

The ASU CIC is currently building the framework to store and analyze the data. After that, data will be collected and the web interface for citizens to submit data will be published. The City of Phoenix will be able to improve their sidewalk network. The prototype is expected to be completed by the end of July.

About the ASU CIC

The ASU Smart Cities Cloud Innovation Center (CIC) is a strategic relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is supported by AWS on ASU’s Innovation campus - SkySong. The mission of the CIC is to drive Innovation Challenges that materially benefit the greater Phoenix metro area and beyond by solving pressing community and regional challenges using shareable and repeatable technology solutions from ideation through prototype as a service for the greater human good.

The CIC also provides real-world problem-solving experiences to students by immersing them in the application of proven innovation methods in combination with the latest technologies to solve important challenges in the public sector.

The challenges being addressed cover a wide variety of topics including homelessness, evidence-based policing, digital literacy, virtual cybersecurity laboratories and many others. The CIC leverages the deep subject matter expertise of government, education and non-profit organizations to clearly understand the customers affected by public sector challenges and develops solutions that meet the customer needs.

For more information on the ASU CIC, to read about projects or to submit a challenge, please visit https://smartchallenges.asu.edu.

Photos