Downtown Mesa is the City's central business district in the original square-mile town site. It features boutiques, sidewalk cafés, salons and antique shops in addition to restaurants and other local businesses. Downtown Mesa has the light rail running through it and provides a walk-able environment. A long-term goal is to support the retention and expansion of existing businesses and the attraction of new businesses throughout downtown Mesa.
Downtown Broadband and Wi-Fi Expansion
Project Provide Wi-Fi and gigabit fiber connectivity to the downtown district, enhancing the experience and engagement of businesses, residents and visitors. The City has approximately 110 miles of fiber optic cable installed, much of which is currently in use. A Public Safety bond approved by the voters in November 2018, will add an additional 37 miles of fiber optic cable and enable completion of the downtown fiber ring architecture over the next three years. The Downtown broadband service will provide 1 Gigabit per second speeds to subscribers to enable high technology connected businesses to thrive in downtown Mesa.
Benefit to the City The City’s fiber optic cable network provides high bandwidth data and other services to Public Safety and other City facilities. The Public Safety Fiber project will allow the City to complete a fiber ring around downtown Mesa, providing added reliability to the network in support of police and fire. It will also support other smart projects, such as the Downtown digital kiosks, downtown LED light smart nodes and leveraging installed closed-circuit television cameras for Smart Cities parking.
Current Status Strategy and schedule were confirmed fall 2019. Design efforts are in progress to establish an infrastructure that can be leveraged to provide benefits in addition to Wi-Fi to the Smart City Program. The first wave will be to enhance public Wi-Fi in the downtown area (Country Club to Mesa Drive, 1st Street to 1st Avenue). This project includes both replacing and extending Wi-Fi to enhance the public experience.
Downtown LED Light Smart Nodes
Project Upgrade to LED streetlights with smart node capability. Smart nodes can include cameras/optical sensors, as well as provide Wi-Fi expansion opportunities. The City will explore strategic use of these devices in support of other smart initiatives. They may also provide critical infrastructure for communications and automated metering infrastructure.
Benefit to the City The LED lights will provide energy-savings as lights are automatically adjusted based on pedestrian and traffic volume. Renting access to the nodes can be lucrative as mobile carriers deploy 5G networks. They will serve as support for other Smart Cities initiatives.
Current Status Approximately 200 Philips City Touch nodes are deployed; 100 are slated for deployment. Budget for full City installation is under review.
"Our CityPost platform provides digital tools for small businesses, city communications, real-time transit and safety for our downtowns."
A contract for digital Kiosks was signed with Smart City Media in 2019, and the City will begin the process of deploying digital signage and citizen engagement platforms throughout the downtown and Mesa light rail corridor in 2020.
The kiosks will Provide way-finding in the downtown district; enhance visibility of the arts, businesses and other services; encourage additional tourism; engage citizens; and create a revenue generation platform for the City.
The ability of the kiosk to assist Mesa citizens and support Downtown Mesa is wide-ranging. The kiosks can provide added safety by connecting citizens to public safety, providing lighting, and giving the City a platform for public service announcements. Citizens can be more connected with real-time bus and light rail information and mapping to City offices and local resources. Directly a result of citizen feedback, the ability to find services for the homeless will be an application on the planned Kiosks. Supporting the Convention Center and the Arts and promoting local businesses will combine to enhance the citizen experience while supporting local businesses and encouraging tourism.
The City has partnered with Smart City Media to install 20 Smart Digital Kiosks in Downtown Mesa. Kiosks will be located between 1st Ave to 3rd Street and between Country Club Drive to the Gilbert Drive Light Rail Station.
Each kiosk has a 55-inch touch screen, voice activation for touchless interaction, provides multi-lingual support and is ADA accessible. The kiosk will provide Wi-Fi hot spots, and there is a companion mobile application for both IOS and android.
Mesa's small business community will be able to Citypost messages for free. This will provide our small businesses the opportunity to reach more potential customers and grow our local small business community.