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LinkPGH: Context and Connectivity To Activate The Streets of Pittsburgh

Dynamic, digital kiosks that provide contextual information on nearby transportation, businesses and events, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity

Photo of Jeff Maki
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Link is the most advanced, tested, and used public information and WiFi kiosk in the world, providing contextual information on nearby transportation, events and businesses, as well as connectivity to place-based digital resources via its tablet interface and gigabit Wi-Fi. 

Our vision for Pittsburgh is to deploy our award winning Link kiosk, customized for Pittsburgh’s unique needs (which we call “LinkPGH”) in key, high-traffic corridors, with a select number of units in areas where digital connectivity is needed most. 


We propose a deployment of up to 50 units in the City of Pittsburgh, deployed in phases, beginning with the City of Tomorrow Challenge.  

Link is Wi-Fi enabled with speeds up to 1 gigabit, that will create an incredible new platform for communication, wayfinding, innovation and civic engagement, and public service amenities. Building on the learnings of deployments in New York City and London, soon to include Newark and Philadelphia, we’d love to add Pittsburgh to the Link network. 

LinkPGH will usher in new ways for people to navigate through the City, discover local businesses, interact with the City and local institutions like museums and universities, and enable new ways for residents to communicate with each other regardless of background, ability, or financial standing. 


Providing the right information, at the right time, in the right place is the key to engaging, informing and delighting residents, workers and visitors throughout the City of Pittsburgh. 

Link will give the City of Pittsburgh and its institutions a powerful, unified, real-time citizen communications system across its public spaces to showcase the city’s culture, brand and distinct resources.  

Below are examples of content we might feature on LinkPGH, but we look to expand on this via our discussions with the City, local stakeholders and local residents (including, of course, transit riders) as part of the City of Tomorrow process.


Providing 24/7 free internet access for millions of residents and visitors, Link’s fiber-powered, free, secure Wi-Fi is 100x faster than the average public Wi-Fi.



Link’s design is award winning, reflecting our dedication to both user experience and design for the public.

As a platform deployed in major cities such as New York and London, Pittsburgh will benefit from the learnings and scale of a network that has been refined by our experience at this scale. 

 

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

LinkPGH is designed for everyone, regardless of background, ability, or financial standing. When we designed Link, we thought about users such as those outlined in the personas above.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Fully Scaled - you have already scaled your solution and are exploring new use cases

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Intersection connects the digital and physical worlds to ease and enrich people’s journeys through their cities. We have over 17+ years in the business, offices in 10+ US cities and over 600+ employees. Whether offering public services like free Wi-Fi and calling, providing people with useful information to get where they’re going, or simply brightening their day with native content, our services and products help people engage with their communities.

More at http://www.intersection.com

Size of your team or organization

  • 501+

Funding Request

  • No funding is required

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

Intersection proposes a deployment of up to 50 Links in the City of Pittsburgh, deployed in phases to be determined in discussion with the City. We imagine the City of Tomorrow process kicking off the first phase of Link deployment, and in order to bring Link to Pittsburgh as quickly as possible, Intersection commits to a temporary installation at City Hall or another easily accessible, central location that would be representative of a unit customized for Pittsburgh. This unit can be installed relatively quickly ahead of any required permits or street work, and moved to a permanent location afterwards.

Link's business model is advertising supported, and requires no financial commitment from the City of Pittsburgh assuming advertising revenues. Intersection has over 17+ years in the business, so the City can be assured of the project’s backing and sustainability.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Intersection will collaborate with the City of Pittsburgh to measure project success.

Our standard process includes measuring quantitative things like total Wi-Fi user sessions, tablet sessions, phone calls, and user satisfaction surveys, as well as more qualitative things such as local stakeholder engagement, design workshops and community feedback via local events. Post-launch, we continue to measure performance before releasing any new features, using prototyping and testing to iterate in a lean manner.

Generating excitement around public infrastructure can be challenging in any city. But in a recent survey of visitors and residents of New York City, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback on LinkNYC:

+ 93%: LinkNYC is a positive initiative for NYC.
+ 89%: Excited to see what LinkNYC has in store for the future.
+ 89%: LinkNYC will provide services that are beneficial to my local area and community.
+ 91%: LinkNYC makes NYC more innovative than other cities

7 comments

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Photo of Rob Paxton
Team

So a big digital phone book and charging center. The only thing hopefully won't happen is hacking. Or widespread standing around it. Maybe even have it advertising job help like indeed, as a way to encourage work ethic. And therefore boost people's self esteem and self worth.

Photo of Jeff Maki
Team

Hey Rob, Link has been designed from the ground up with security in mind, so don't worry about hacking--we're covered.

Our community content program (examples above) would be a great way to help folks find work, we'd love to partner on something like that.

We've already helped folks find social services in their community (via Aunt Bertha), and this past election in New York, with voter registration and poll site lookup.

Thanks for your ideas!

Photo of Rob Paxton
Team

Best wishes on it's continued success. Hopefully you could bring some to NJ soon also. I would love for the wellfare system to get smaller and smaller as people find a job they can get free of drugs, and excessive drinking or smoking. I've had family die from cigarettes, and yet many ignore the ingredients. Maybe when you bring them here, maybe with that plus my health boosting vehicles. We can truly help the world get to it's best potential.

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