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Monitor (illegal) activity in abandoned buildings
May 12, 2013 Tiana T

Abandoned buildings pose a huge public safety concern in cities with major population loss (e.g. Detroit, MI; Trenton, NJ). They are often used for illegal drug activity and/or are robbed and vandalized by people who want to re-sell the valuable metal parts of the infrastructure. Many are also set on fire either by accident or arson (for insurance payouts). Many city governments struggle to address and track this issue because it is time and human-capital-intensive to survey these buildings.

I propose affixing RFIDs to all ground-level entry points on abandoned buildings to measure two primary things: 1) medium-to-strong disturbances (to assess break ins of doors/windows/internal infrastructure) and 2) rapid temperature increases (to register fires). This could be used to map where illegal use of buildings is high and target law enforcement efforts to stop such use. There are other details/weaknesses to consider in this model, but am happy to talk about those separately.


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