Quality of Life
Smart communities are learning to use distributed digital technologies to improve quality of life for community residents and workers. However, smart communities are not necessarily more livable, sustainable, or socially just. While technology enables efficiency gains, this does not always translate into improved societal outcomes. For example, real-time traffic information and coordination can improve safety and reduce congestion, but these improvements may prompt a behavioral rebound effect if they induce people to rely more on private vehicles. Ohio State researchers are working with Columbus, Ohio and other cities to pursue a systems approach that improves resilience and accounts for unexpected consequences. For example, to offset the impacts of climate change, such as increased storm intensity, we are developing green infrastructure solutions that help to reduce flooding and stormwater overflow while creating green space and preserving ecosystem functions.