Ann Arbor Public WiFi Collective

Brian Pekar, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning

The Ann Arbor Public Wifi Collective is a proposal designed to address the growing disparity and urgency in internet access that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Targeting lower income and disadvantaged areas the project builds off of the existing local transit infrastructure to optimize and give new agency to a public service preparing for new use conditions. Bus shelters will be altered to house SuperNode antennas that can provide internet access to entire neighborhoods while providing safe coworking and waiting space for bus riders. While smaller bus stops serve as router distribution points on a new route through the city carried by a previously underutilized bus. These systems and others work to ensure equal access to urban spaces, infrastructures, and to the digital realities that are becoming increasingly significant in society. Our grant funded work will focus on technological feasibility, scalability, and 1 to 1 scale construction of one of our smaller bus stop proposals.