Marcus Quigley Shares Insights on Smart Urban Water Systems at TEDx Event
Cloud computing coupled with emerging innovations in green infrastructure (GI) are poised to change the way modern cities address long-standing issues of stormwater runoff.
Marcus Quigley, P.E., D.WRE, CPESC, a principal civil and water resources engineer for Geosyntec based in Massachusetts, recently shared these insights on the future of GI and the urban built environment at a special event sponsored by TEDxBeaconStreet, the Greater Boston component of the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Ideas Worth Spreading series of conferences held around the world.
A video of Mr. Quigley's TEDx presentation, "Designing Smart Urban Water Systems," is now available on YouTube. In it, he explains that societies today largely build urban infrastructure assuming that water -- when not of drinking water quality and properly contained in pressurized pipes -- is viewed mostly as a nuisance: something to be avoided on roadways, kept out of basements, or piped to the nearest conveyance that can carry it away as quickly as possible.
"As a society, we are re-thinking these assumptions and looking more closely at the choices we make and how the actions we take affect the value of water," Mr. Quigley said.
"I feel we're on the cusp of a fundamental revolution of re-inventing our cities, and it has to do with all of the things that you guys have sitting in your pockets: wireless devices connected to the Internet," he told TEDx attendees this past November.
Emerging digital technology, such as Geosyntec's OptiRTC software platform, coupled with cloud computing and the infrastructure design concept described as "the Internet of Things" will be the catalysts leading this change, Mr. Quigley said.
"When we can take real-time information and integrate it into our infrastructure, we can really change our cities in profound ways and try to re-create the environments that we want to live in," he said.
Mr. Quigley has more than 15 years of experience working on challenging projects related to surface water hydrology, hydraulics, water quality, and stormwater and erosion and sediment control permitting and management. He is recognized as a national technical leader in stormwater best management practice (BMP) design, research and development, modeling, data analysis, and field data acquisition.
During the past decade he has provided technical leadership and project management for the International Stormwater Best Management Practices Database. As part of that project, he was a co-author of "Urban Stormwater BMP Performance Monitoring — A Guidance Manual for Meeting the National Stormwater BMP Database Requirements" (April 2002), as well as the 2008 update to the manual that incorporates designs for low impact development.