Chelsea Beta Hub: Problem Solving Through Innovation

Chelsea Beta Hub: Problem Solving Through Innovation

Svetha Ambati, Salvador Gutierrez, Samah Itani, and Alyssa Koehn

This project was a finalist for the American Planning Association's Smart Cities Competition. The UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation provided a grant to the UCLA graduate students who led this project. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Luskin Center for Innovation. Any errors or ommissions are the responsiblity of the authors.  

Smart City designs are large-scale, innovative attempts to use current technologies to solve urban problems. We wondered how a single block in Manhattan could make a meaningful contribution to such extensive goals. By clustering Smart Cities projects in a single urban space, innovators can work together and benefit from shared knowledge, resources, and audience.

We’ve titled our site “Chelsea beta hub” because this block of Manhattan is the perfect laboratory to group innovative technologies with a focus on start-ups and trial projects. The demographics of Chelsea are rapidly changing. There is a large population of ageing seniors that are under-served, and this population is growing every year. The environment of Chelsea is also a challenge. Recent weather events have shown how climate change can have catastrophic effects on the neighborhood through large scale flooding.

We grouped our learning from site research under 4 subcategories of problems/solutions: data, mobility, environment, and economic development. For each category we explore solutions to advance sustainability in Chelsea.