Russell Neighborhood is on the rise.
Several major property developments are in the works, and it is just the beginning. Among the promising developments for the neighborhood is the selection of Russell as the winner of the HUD Choice Neighborhood grant. The $30 million HUD grant will replace the Beecher Terrace housing development with a mixed-use community and make investments in the infrastructure of the community.
As we look to future of the Russell, we want to make sure Russell doesn’t just catch up, it sets the bar for other neighborhoods in our city. This means we need to make investments in infrastructure of tomorrow namely civic technology. The digital divide spans not only the lack of home internet access and computers, but also related to the digital infrastructure in a community including things like fiber optic cable.
“Russell will be the smartest neighborhood in our Smart City” — Mayor Greg Fischer
The Vision Russell process, the precursor to the HUD Choice Neighborhood grant application, included an extensive, inclusive community engagement process to map the issues of the community by its residents. Vision Russell identified several critical issues to address including public safety, vacant and abandoned properties, along with general connectivity issues.
Learn more about Vision Russell
Looking these issues through the lens of making Russell the smartest neighborhood in our Smart City, the Office of Civic Innovation and Technology worked with partners to develop a neighborhood technology strategy named Smart Russell to make Russell a better place to live, work, and play.
ABOUT SMART RUSSELL
Geographic Focus Areas
Our projects focus on supporting the redevelopment zones identified in the Vision Russell process
Public Safety Cameras
It is clear from the Vision Russell process that crime and violence are serious issues for the Russell community. Technology alone will not solve those issues. Russell requires significant sustained investment and engagement to become the community it should be for its residents. We also believe that technology can support these redevelopment efforts.
Smart Russell plans to install 35+ public safety cameras in redevelopment zones and areas with public safety issues. This includes the ongoing revitalization efforts currently underway in the Russell neighborhood. The cameras are accessible to the civilian workforce at the Real time Crime Center (RTCC); a 24/7 unit that supports LMPD real time operations and investigations. The RTCC proactively and reactively monitors cameras installed throughout Metro Louisville. Unit members may observe situations requiring a police presence and provide real time intelligence to support dispatchers and responding officers during ongoing incidents. All cameras are located within public areas such as roadways, sidewalks, parks, etc. Camera usage is routinely audited to ensure that established policies and procedures are being followed.
We believe these cameras will, alongside community policing strategies, help make Russell a safer place to live and support redevelopment efforts.
VAP Smoke Detectors
Fires in Vacant and Abandon Properties (VAP) are a major issue for Louisville. Analyzing data from 2012 to 2015, we found that 27.2% of fires in the West End Fire District started in a Vacant and Abandoned [VAP] property. And, that close to half of fires that spread to another building, started in a VAP. For the last three years, the Office of Civic Innovation and Technology has worked with a local startup to build a technology that can detect fires in VAPs. To respond to fires more quickly in VAPs, we will deploy up to 150 innovative, one-of-a-kind devices in structures with a high-risk to catch on fire to catch these fires in their early stages to limit the chance they spread and endanger homes where people live.
City turns to hackers to quell house fires - Video
Hackers in Louisville, Kentucky, worked with the city to create CASPER, a wireless device that listens for smoke…
Access to the internet is essential to thrive in our modern economy, and up to 80% of Russell residents do not have a home internet subscription. Our public network will provide a reliable internet connection to Russell residents in their neighborhood 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It will also be a conduit to provide information about social service programs available to under-served residents. We will also put in requirements to protect the privacy of its users. The network will not be used to collect personally identifiable information about users beyond basic demographics like age and gender. Users will have the opportunity to engage with the social service providers promoted on the network, but no personally identifiable data collected by providers will not be shared with Louisville Metro Government.
Click here for an interactive map of the proposed public wifi hotspot locations.
Louisville Fiber Infrastructure and Technology (LFIT)
Fiber optic cable is 21st century internet infrastructure that all communities need to be competitive to attract residents and businesses. But, not all our communities have equal access to this essential infrastructure.
LFIT is building 288 strands of fiber optic cable (this is a lot) down Broadway all the way from downtown to Shawnee park, and down 22nd Street from Broadway to the river. This $2.2 million fiber optic cable build will ensure that Russell, and other west Louisville neighborhoods, have middle-mile fiber. This will make it easier for Louisville Metro to provide enhanced government services, such as Bus Rapid Transit and, potentially, for private partners to provide ultra-high-speed internet connections to homes and businesses.
What do you think?
If you have feedback or suggestions for one or more of the projects, or you would like me to give a presentation to a community group, please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com