Ila Berman, Dean and Edward E. Elson Professor, UVA School of Architecture
Karen Rheuban, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Karen Rheuban Center for Telemedicine, UVA School of Medicine
Donna Chen, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UVA School of Engineering
Qian Cai, Director of the Center for Demographic Research, UVA
Mona El Khafif, Associate Professor, UVA School of Architecture
Led by principal investigator, Dean Ila Berman, the National Science Foundation awarded UVA a grant of $495,280.00 for the project, Polycentric Development Toward the Vision of 21st Century Main Street in Virginia. This grant was awarded under The Smart and Connected Communities (SCC) program which supports strongly interdisciplinary, integrative research that will improve understanding of smart and connected communities and lead to discoveries that enable sustainable change to enhance community functioning. This award will support the development of a Research Coordination Network led by UVA with 14 partner organizations.
Excerpt from Project Abstract:
Cities and communities in the U.S. and around the world are entering a new era of transformational change, in which their inhabitants and the surrounding built and natural environments are increasingly connected by smart technologies, leading to new opportunities for innovation, improved services, and enhanced quality of life. This project is a Research Coordination Network (RCN) that focuses on achieving SCC for medium/small size, remote, and rural communities through a polycentric (multiple centers) integrated policy, design, and technology approach. The communities served by the RCN have higher barriers to information, resources, and services than larger urban communities. To reduce this gap, the principal investigators propose to develop need-based R&D pipelines to select solutions with the highest potential impacts to the communities. Instead of trying to connect under-connected communities to nearby large cities, this proposal aims to develop economic opportunities within the communities themselves.
This award will support the development of an RCN within the Commonwealth of Virginia which will coordinate multiple partners in developing innovations utilizing smart and connected technologies. The research coordination network will be led by the University of Virginia. There are 14 partner organizations including six research center partners in transportation, environment, architecture and urban planning, and engineering and technology; two State and Industry partners (Virginia Municipal League and Virginia Center for Innovative Technology); four community partners representing health services (UVA Center for Telemedicine), small and remote communities (Weldon Cooper Center), neighborhood communities (Charlottesville Neighborhood Development), and urban communities (Thriving Cities); and two national partners which support high speed networking (US-Ignite) and city-university hubs (MetroLab).