Researchers host mayor of Makassar to discuss smart urban agricultural project

September 29, 2022

As part of a collaborative smart urban agricultural project, researchers from Penn State were among those who met with Mohammad Ramdhan Pomanto, mayor of Makassar, Indonesia, in Washington, D.C. on July 24. Pomanto shared progress on Smart Garden Alley, the National Science Foundation-funded project taking place in his city.

Pomanto and his delegation met with representatives from Penn State, VirginiaTech, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States Agency for International Development and the U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership, which is an initiative aimed at using smart city technologies to advance urban quality of life in Southeast Asian. DC Water provided a tour of Washington, D.C.’s Green Alley project, a green infrastructure program designed to mitigate water pollution and urban inundation.

There are 1.4 million people and 7,520 alleys in the Indonesian city of Makassar. The Smart Garden Alley project, led by Penn State researchers, is focused on modernizing alleys throughout the city to make them more livable and equipping them with smart city technology to support their sustainability.

“The Smart Garden Alley project integrates urban farming with a smart sensor network and machine learning,” said Smart Garden Alley project principle investigator Wangda Zuo, professor of architectural engineering and associate director of research of the Global Building Network at Penn State, whose research focuses on smart, sustainable and resilient cities. “We are deploying a sensor network that will help detect foot traffic, air quality and the vitality of crops growing in these alleys.”

The project is also working to increase alley tourism by promoting alley-grown produce at local restaurants. The collaborators discussed the future of the project, including adding a climate resiliency component. Watch the video to learn more from Mayor Pomanto:


Makassar Mayor Pomanto, mayor of Makassar, Indonesia, discusses the Smart Garden Alley project taking place in his city. Penn State researchers are leading the project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. Credit: U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership


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