Mayor Greg Fischer joined Metro Council members, the Commission on Public Art, artist Todd C. Smith, and community partners at the base of the Big Four Bridge to unveil Bike Sense Louisville, a public art project that will promote healthy lifestyle habits and provide new data on the city’s air quality and temperature.
Using sensor units that fit into cyclists’ water bottle holders, data is collected about the cyclists’ speed and location, as well as the temperature and air quality outside. The data is then translated into sound that is streamed in both real-time on the Bike Sense website and broadcast over the Big Four Bridge speakers.
“Bike Sense encompasses our city’s core values of lifelong learning and health by incorporating science and exercise into public art,” said the Mayor. “This project will get people moving, either as volunteer cyclists collecting environmental data or as pedestrians crossing the Big Four Bridge to listen to the sounds created.”
The data will be publicly available and support the work of University of Louisville’s Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute.
“The Center for Healthy Air Water and Soil and the Superfund Research Center in the UofL Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute are partnering with the innovative Bike Sense project to raise awareness of the health risks posed by many volatile organic compounds,” said Dr. Ted Smith, Deputy Director of the Envirome Institute. “We look forward to providing technical assistance and health risk information to the project and its many cycling participants.”
The project was selected by the Commission on Public Art through a call for artists and is funded through a mix of private donations, public dollars, and an ArtsMatch grant from Fund for the Arts.
“By collecting volunteer cycling data that considers location as well as environmental factors, like temperature and air quality, we could learn a lot about where people are biking and how healthy it is to bike here. The sound part of the project was my creative way of sharing this data with the public,” said artist Todd C. Smith. “The bridge is a public space that sees thousands of pedestrians and cyclists and is the symbol of connection for the Kentuckiana region. I look forward to seeing how this year-long project progresses.”
For more information, visit BikeSense.net.