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26 BIG Ideas

The city's leaders in health, science, politics, food, and culture share their game-changing ideas for San Diego in 2016.


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(page 4 of 26)

Let’s build a smarter city infrastructure.

Kiva Allgood, Vice President of Business Development, Qualcomm

On the Qualcomm campus in Sorrento Valley, you’ll find smart trash cans equipped with garbage compactors as well as detectors that alert maintenance workers—via smartphone app—when the containers are full and need to be picked up. And they determine the worker’s route using real-time data, in order to save time, labor, and gas. The Qualcomm buildings, too, are optimized with wireless products to show where electricity is being used. “We’re trying to live through example,” Allgood says. The campus is also a great lab for testing these ideas before taking them to the real world. Using information, communication, and intelligent connectivity, her department is solving city problems in infrastructure, transportation, building and automation, and energy. That can mean making a single-purpose lamppost multipurpose—it not only lights the sidewalk but is equipped with parking sensors; gunfire, earthquake, and pollution detectors; cellular and Wi-Fi relays; and more. That same concept could also apply to a park bench, trash can, or any type of city fixture. “There is a strong correlation between how the better infrastructure becomes, the better a person’s overall welfare is.” Qualcomm is working with local universities, the mayor’s office, and San Diego planning departments to develop that sort of thoughtful infrastructure. It gives new meaning to the term “street smarts.” 

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