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St Louis expands smart city kiosk roll-out

The kiosks are part of the city’s drive to create social equity and increase public safety and are also being used to provide information on the coronavirus crisis.

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Providing equitable access to technology is at the heart of St Louis' smart city initiative
Providing equitable access to technology is at the heart of St Louis' smart city initiative

The city of St Louis is introducing the next phase of roll-out of its interactive smart city kiosks, beginning with an installation near the Wohl Recreation Centre inside the historic Sherman Park.

 

The initiative is part of the city’s drive to create social equity, increase public safety, support businesses, cultural institutions, and attractions, as well as enhance quality of life for residents and visitors. The kiosks are also being used to provide information on the coronavirus crisis.

 

Critical information

 

The Ike Smart City kiosks are designed to connect residents and visitors to local businesses, entertainment, and resources, and also facilitate navigation around the city with directions, mapping, and real-time transit information for both mass and micro transit modalities.

 

While public programming at the Wohl Centre is currently unavailable due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Ike is fully functional, broadcasting critical health and safety information and providing the community with access to essential services.

 

Chief technology officer for the city, Dr Robert Gaskill-Clemons, and Ward 26 alderwoman Shameem Hubbard, worked together to ensure the kiosk makes vital resources available to all residents.

“Ensuring equitable access to technology is at the heart of our smart city initiative as is finding innovative ways to use technology to support the community.”

PrepareSTL, a collaborative campaign powered by the Missouri Foundation for Health in partnership with the city of St Louis, Saint Louis MHB, St Louis County Department of Public Health and other community health organisations, is using the Ike platform to help residents cope with the Covid-19 crisis. Content includes details on how to stop the spread of the virus, and how to survive the pandemic physically, emotionally, and economically.

 

“Ensuring equitable access to technology is at the heart of our smart city initiative as is finding innovative ways to use technology to support the community,” said Dr Gaskill-Clemons.

 

He added: “I believe this effort is a significant step forward as well as an example of how technology providers, the city and the community can work together to find innovative solutions that improve the quality of life for the residents and businesses here in St Louis.”

The first kiosks were located downtown and in historic Old North St Louis
The first kiosks were located downtown and in historic Old North St Louis

“I cannot think of a better time to launch Ike, than during this current pandemic. Ike is a source of accurate information and available resources for a community that is being disproportionately affected by Covid-19,” said Hubbard.

 

Additional organisations like the Magic House, St Louis Children’s Museum, are using the kiosk to promote virtual learning experiences.

 

Initial roll-out

 

St Louis, Missouri, deployed the city’s first group of interactive smart digital kiosks earlier this year. It installed eight kiosks in historic Old North St Louis and the downtown area.

City authorities anticipate that by the end of this year there will be up to 50 additional kiosks installed in neighbourhoods across the city, with further expansion of the network planned for 2021.

 

“Our mission is to utilise smart city technology to improve lives in cities, and we look forward to continuing the deployment of Ike kiosks throughout St Louis in order to maximise public benefit for all communities,” added Pete Scantland, CEO of Ike Smart City.

 

The multi-lingual and ADA-compliant kiosks include free wi-fi, security cameras for increased neighbourhood safety, and listings for social and civic resources such as shelters, food banks, and job opportunities.

 

Ike also helps streamline communication between the city and its citizens, serving as a platform for public service announcements and emergency messages.

 

IKE said it is supported through sponsorships and advertising and kiosks are installed and operated at no cost to the city or taxpayers.

 

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