NTT Helps Chicago’s Navy Pier and City Tech Collaborative Deliver ‘Smart’ Visitor Experience

CHICAGO – March 16, 2021 – Chicago’s Navy Pier and NTT Corporation (NTT), in partnership with City Tech Collaborative and a consortium of other leading technology and design partners, today announced a Smart Solutions pilot. This pilot will leverage a data-driven approach to enhance Navy Pier’s visitor experience and existing safety measures while increasing its business resilience against future disruptions.

Navy Pier, one of the Midwest’s most highly attended leisure and cultural destinations, which typically welcomes nearly 9 million visitors annually, closed temporarily in September 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In preparation for its reopening in Spring 2021, Navy Pier is implementing new measures to ensure guest safety, maintain consumer confidence, and utilize state-of-the-art technology to strengthen operations.

By leveraging NTT Smart Solutions, the initial phase which will be focused on three locations. Navy Pier will be able to manage capacity, implement physical and operational design changes and set the foundation for a trip planning tool to share critical information empowering visitors to make the best decisions based on their goals, concerns and plans. In compliance with data privacy and data retention policies, the solution deployed does not retain the collected data.

“Navy Pier is a top destination for culture, entertainment, education, and community among Chicago residents and guests from all over the world,” said Mark Thompson, Vice President of Data, Analytics & Strategic Marketing for Navy Pier. “As a non-profit organization, Navy Pier is especially grateful for partnerships with NTT, City Tech, and other leading partners that are helping ensure that the Pier will bounce back from COVID-19 stronger than ever.”

Thanks to optical sensors and other devices combined with data analytics, NTT will collect data on the number of people near and within Navy Pier, including space occupancy statistics and usage patterns of outdoor areas and facilities to increase situational awareness and real-time intelligence.

“We are delighted to work with Chicago’s Navy Pier on this project. It is a great example of how data and analytics help organizations focus on citizens’ health and wellbeing and plan for reopening urban spaces and facilities that have remained closed or empty,” said Akira Shimada, Senior Executive Vice President, NTT.

According to Brenna Berman, CEO of City Tech Collaborative, “Navy Pier and other shared recreational spaces play a crucial role in rebooting global cities following COVID-19 closures. With world-class partners like NTT, City Tech deploys new tech to improve the visitor experience and health and safety, now and after the pandemic subsides. In doing so, we’re building a scalable solution that can be applied to similar venues across the US and beyond.”

Tim Conway, Group President of Public Sector, NTT DATA Services added, “It is important for citizens to have safe access to public spaces, especially in this challenging environment. NTT is applying cutting-edge technologies and investments in innovation as well as drawing from its significant commercial sector experience to help governments deliver vital services to citizens.”

NTT will deploy its Smart Solutions which are designed to calibrate and curate data to reveal trends, discover powerful insights and generate predictive analytics that can drive better business decisions for city leaders, venue managers and other stakeholders in both public and private sectors. Through the collaboration with Navy Pier, NTT contributes to the city’s recovery from COVID-19 while expanding its “Back to Work” solutions.

NTT Smart Solutions were initially conceived to enhance public safety in the City of Las Vegas in 2018. Since then, they have also adapted to track usage and occupancy in parks and beyond and with implementations by other clients in several industries – including the University of California, Berkeley for curb management, IndyCar for improved fan experience and transit agencies for passenger safety. NTT is planning to continue to move forward in occupancy and transportation capabilities and address new challenges facing organizations worldwide.

About City Tech Collaborative (City Tech)
City Tech is an urban solutions accelerator that tackles problems too big for any single sector or organization to solve alone. City Tech’s work uses IoT sensing networks, advanced analytics, and urban design to create scalable, market ready solutions. Current initiatives address advanced mobility, healthy cities, connected infrastructure, and emerging growth opportunities. City Tech was born and raised in Chicago, and every city is a potential partner. Visit and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Navy Pier
Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming nearly 9 million guests annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. The Pier recently celebrated its 100th anniversary with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2020, Navy Pier continues to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts – including a 220-room Hilton hotel with a year-round rooftop bar, Offshore (now open), and more – in addition to free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a mission-driven 501(c)(3) organization, in support of free public programs. For more information, visit

About NTT

NTT believes in resolving social issues through our business operations by applying technology for good. We help clients accelerate growth and innovate for current and new business models. Our services include digital business consulting, technology and managed services for cybersecurity, applications, workplace, cloud, data center and networks all supported by our deep industry expertise and innovation. As a top 5 global technology and business solutions provider, our diverse teams operate in 80+ countries and regions and deliver services to over 190 of them. We serve over 80% of Fortune Global 100 companies and thousands of other clients and communities around the world. For more information on NTT, visit

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