BenchMark at Belmont Avenue Better Block

October 15, 2017
On September 23, residents of Charlotte, NC's Belmont neighborhood came together for Belmont Avenue Better Block, an effort to educate, equip, and empower the Belmont community to reshape and reactivate the existing built environment. 

BenchMark, a collaborative project between the Gehl Institute and MIT’s Civic Data Design Lab, was on hand to help neighborhood residents start to understand how quantifying their public space may enable them to make those spaces better.

The project's moveable benches are embedded with sensors that collect data about where the bench is located, what its surrounding light intensity is, if someone is sitting on it, how noisy the space is, and how many people are in the public space. Through innovation in data collection and analysis, the project aims to enable decision makers to use qualitative and quantitative data to make better public spaces.