Modernizing Cities via Smart Garden Alleys with Application in Makassar City
Lead PI:
Wangda Zuo

This activity is in response to the NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Supporting Transition of Research into Cities through the US ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations Cities) Smart Cities Partnership (NSF 20-024), in collaboration with the US Department of State. This research seeks to integrate innovations in smart and connected communities with creative gardens within the city alleys of Makassar City, Indonesia via a synergistic collaboration between US and Indonesian teams and a close partnership with Makassar City. Makassar is striving to become a livable world class city for a fast-growing, diverse population of 1.7 million people. The ongoing “Garden Alley” project in the city aims to improve the “livability” of the city, measured by factors including air-quality, heat index, food security, and social interactions. To date, Makassar has implemented 40 gardens within 15 of the city’s sub-districts, covering a sizable portion of the city’s alleys. The goal of this research is to catalyze the transformation of Makassar City’s garden alleys into smart environments by deploying a sensor network at representative green allies and conventional allies to collect data related to air quality, microclimates, and other factors, to analyze the heterogeneous data using machine learning techniques, and to then share the data and its insights with city representatives and specific communities within the city.

This transformative research will provide the foundational science and knowledge that are needed to design, optimize, and deploy S&CC technologies within the ASEAN region and beyond. This interdisciplinary research will yield several major innovations: 1) New low-cost, durable, and mobile sensor networks will be designed for air quality and microclimate monitoring in the hot and humid climate in southeast Asian cities. 2) Suitable machine learning techniques will be employed to exploit the multi-dimensional and heterogeneous data collected from both existing infrastructures and new mobile test platforms in Makassar and create intelligent spatio-temporal operational maps of Makassar’s alleys that can be used for various design, planning, and operational decisions by the city. 3) Data-driven city-scale smart operating schemes involving feedback loops will be explored through close engagement with the Indonesian partners. The developed solutions will be highly dynamic yet robust and have the potential to be scaled, as well as transferred to other cities. Additionally, this project will initiate a new collaboration between the US and Indonesia, improving the quality of life in an emerging southeast Asian city, but with potentially broad applicability, and provide a broad range of dissemination activities, involvement of students in international activities, as well as active engagement with local communities and researchers in Indonesia.

Wangda Zuo
Wangda Zuo's lab contributes to the development of multiple major open-source tools, including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Modelica Buildings library and NREL’s URBANopt. He is the associate editor of the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering and treasurer and affiliate director of International Building Performance Simulation Association. He has served as the principal investigator for more than 30 research projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Performance Period: 10/01/2022 - 12/31/2024
Institution: Pennsylvania State University
Award Number: 2241361
Core Areas: International