Skip to content
District as a Living Laboratory Icon
Category 2

District as a Living Laboratory

The Cortex name is synonymous with “innovation,” and there is an expectation that visitors would see these innovations taking place. In addition, tapping into the regional assets could create a number of partnership opportunities to utilize the space within the District as a testing ground for new and emerging technologies.

Ideal Future State

Visitors come to Cortex to see the innovation.

Why Important

Bold sustainability targets require a certain level of experimentation be afforded. The adjacency to so many universities and science partners also puts us in a unique position to invite experimentation to be put on display.

Objectives / Targets

  • Visitors and locals should be able to experience some form of innovation on every block.
  • Innovations should be rotated or updated quarterly to avoid becoming stale.
  • Leverage our ability to convene people and ideas with a focus on ideation with regular events.
  • Report out the results and make certain events open to a diverse array of people.


Number of displays (art, information, signage, kiosks) within each block.


No current baseline for living laboratory displays.

Future Targets

  • 12 displays within District by 2026 (5 years)
  • Displays on every block of District by 2030 (8 years)
  • Waiting list for participation by 2040 (18 years)

Immediate Steps

Solicit proposals from local partners/universities to showcase innovation within the District.

Short-Term Steps

  • Solicit proposals from stakeholders for curated displays or public incubators.
  • Invite Key community stakeholders in to use pre-defined areas within the district for these living laboratory

Long-Term Steps

Obtain sponsors and develop formal submission guidelines for use of the District as living laboratory.


There is no current budget for public art or this type of display. In addition, installing kiosks in public thoroughfares may require permitting and there is typically no infrastructure for lighting or power necessitating a solar and battery solution. Simple budget models for sponsorship (similar to Adopt-a-Highway) could be used.