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Urban Canopee, Curiosity Lab’s Newest Occupant, Adds Greenery to Concrete Areas – Starting with Peachtree Corners



Peachtree Corners is the first place in the United States to receive an innovative and high-tech structure intended to cool down urban areas by greening them up. Called a corolle, the modular, vegetation-covered formation is the creation of French technology company Urban Canopee (urbancanopee.com), which has chosen Curiosity Lab of Peachtree Corners as its launch pad into North America.

The company learned about Curiosity Lab through the French-American Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta-Southeast and La French Tech Atlanta, which moved operations to the Innovation Center at Curiosity Lab in 2021. La French Tech is a French network of startups, investors, decision-makers, and community builders. This is the first startup joining Curiosity Lab through La French Tech.

Curiosity Lab increasingly attracts tech startups and larger technology organizations from around the globe. Many come to test their smart city and intelligent mobility solutions in a real-world environment, and/or in the case of Urban Canopee, to gain proximity to American markets that may have use of their particularly innovative technology.

“During our worldwide expansion, we wanted to come to the United States because so many of its modern, concrete-covered cities experience the urban heat island phenomenon. We can help tackle that issue with our green technology,” said Loïs Lenhardt, technical studies engineer for Urban Canopee. “The Atlanta area seemed like a good place to start.”

Peachtree Corners’ Town Center is also now home to a Mini Corolle – also called a Mini Canopee – from Urban Canopee. This product contains a steel-covered fiberglass base sprouting a mesh cylindrical, upward-and-outward-spreading canopy overlaid with climbing plants. When the plants mature, the Mini Canopee, equipped with its own irrigation system, will provide 215 square feet of shade to help create a cool place where summers are hot and provide additional biodiversity in the Town Center.

“Urban Canopee is committed to bringing vegetation to areas of cities where you could not plant trees because of underground networks, parking decks, subways, and areas covered in concrete,” said Lenhardt, who works at the offices of the French American Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta-Southeast, at Curiosity Lab’s Innovation Center.

Creating oases of freshness in cities

Increasingly long and intense heatwave episodes, growing air pollution, loss of biodiversity, and reduced availability of water are just some of the reasons why Urban Canopee aims to spruce up streetscapes while making cities cooler, more resilient, and more environmentally sustainable. Its technology-enabled low-carbon, energy, and water-efficient solutions are the company’s way to combat the effects of climate change while improving the quality of life for urban dwellers.

The company provides a range of structures from the Mini Canopee, with a low-tech irrigation system, to its 500-square-foot Contrario and Olympe Canopee models, both of which include a high-tech irrigation system called a Sensopee. The setup of a structure takes one day or less.

Introducing a high-tech, self-contained irrigation system

Before delving into the state-of-the-art Sensopee, each structure contains a small amount of substrate that relies on water to help the plants grow. The Mini Canopee’s passive watering reserve will need to be filled with close to two gallons of water a week – but doesn’t need to connect to the city’s water system.

The larger systems use the high-tech Sensopee, a smart irrigation system within the structure relying on sensors and weather-based technology to keep moisture levels optimal. Its algorithm optimizes the best conditions and water consumption to help plant roots grow. Urban Canopee employees monitor when soil is dry, and the water reserve is empty. When either or both occur, they text the customer that it’s time to refill the water reserve – about once a month during hotter seasons and once every two or three months when temperatures cool.

In addition to the one in Peachtree Corners, Urban Canopee has installed 164 other self-standing, autonomous green structures in 63 countries in Europe, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Australia.

Expanding its line of green products for urban areas

While in the states, Lenhardt hopes to generate interest and momentum so others will consider purchasing or offering the company’s canopies to customers. Potential partners include municipalities, landscape architecture firms, or any organization dealing with engineering greenspaces. In fact, Urban Canopee relies on such partnerships for its optional maintenance plans in which a local landscape company, for instance, would weed, mulch, fertilize, stake, and prune the plant structure three times a year.

In the next couple of years, Urban Canopee plans to use the same technology comprised in its corolles to add green, vegetation-covered roofs and facades to its line of products.
“Our canopies bring movable vegetation to urban areas and add significant value and a better quality of life,” Lenhardt said. “We hope to have several more of them in North America by the end of the year.”

Keep up with our latest trips and innovations

If you are interested in learning more about Curiosity Lab’s real-world testing environment or scheduling a tour, please reach out to us here. Testing is free and open to all technology companies from startups to Fortune 500.

To stay in the know, subscribe to Curiosity Lab’s blog by entering your email address at curiositylabptc.com/contact/. You will be notified when Curiosity Labs posts content each week about smart city & intelligent mobility projects being tested at the Lab, events, announcements, and more.

Be sure to follow us on social: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

*Heat islands are found in urbanized areas that have higher temperatures than outlying areas. This is because city structures, including buildings, sidewalks, and roads, absorb and re-emit the sun’s heat more than forests, water bodies, and other natural landscapes.

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Peachtree Corners Installs Little Free Library in Memorial to Benjamin “Lloyd” Cloer 



Benjamin in Sedona

On May 17, the City of Peachtree Corners installed a Memorial Children’s Little Free Library at the Town Green in the Children’s Corner. The little library was donated by Steve Cloer on behalf of his son, Benjamin “Lloyd” Cloer.

The little free library encourages kids to take a book and leave a book to encourage increased literacy and the love of reading. The library was paid for with funds Benjamin had acquired during his lifetime and was designed and built by Benjamin’s father. It will be registered as an official Little Free Library and will be part of a program that provides over 150,000 libraries in more than 120 countries. 

Benjamin, a Norcross High School (NHS) graduate in 2011, lost his life in an act of senseless gun violence on November 10, 2019. While at NHS, Benjamin was an Honor Student, President of the Science Club, Co-Founder and Co-President of the Philosophy Guild, a member of the Math Team and a violinist in the Orchestra. He earned numerous academic awards and achieved an SAT score that put him in the top 2% of students in the nation.

Following high school, Benjamin was awarded an academic scholarship to attend Pomona College in Claremont, Cal. In 2015, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience with a minor in mathematics. 

Benjamin in Sedona
Benjamin in Sedona

After completing his undergraduate degree, Benjamin continued to pursue his education at Georgia State University as a full-time student. In the fall of 2018, he entered the Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) program at the University of Georgia. In the fall of 2020, Benjamin was planning on attending Georgia Tech to pursue his Doctorate in Artificial Intelligence. 

At 26 years old, a few weeks before he was to complete the requirements for his master’s degree in AI at UGA, Benjamin’s life was taken. Benjamin received his master’s degree in AI from UGA posthumously in May 2020. 

Benjamin is described by those who knew him well as someone filled with compassion and caring for others. He had an innate empathic ability to feel when someone was in need. Many people have described him as being “an old soul.” 

Friends of the Cloer family created an endowment, the Benjamin Lloyd Cloer Endowment for AI. Thanks to everyone who has or will donate, there will forever be a “Benjamin Lloyd Cloer Endowment for AI” at UGA. The endowment began offering grants in the fall of 2020 to students in financial need who are studying artificial intelligence.

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Peachtree Corner’s Goal: The Best Streets, Sidewalks, and Multi-Use Trail System in Gwinnett County



Since the City was founded in 2012, Peachtree Corners has taken these goals very seriously: One, we want our citizens to be safe driving on the best streets in Gwinnett County, and two, we believe in having a walkable community.  With this in mind, we have planned several projects for the creation of new sidewalks and multi-use trails.

To ensure that the City can provide the best streets for our residents, we have conducted a technical analysis of each street to prioritize the order in which those streets are resurfaced.  State-of-the-art imaging technology called Laser Crack Measurement is used to develop a Pavement Coefficient Index (PCI) for each street. Each neighborhood is given an average PCI for all its streets, and all neighborhoods are prioritized based on those averages.  The City performed its most recent analysis in October of 2022.   

In April of this year, the City began work on its scheduled 2023 Street Paving projects.  The following neighborhoods are currently scheduled for paving in 2023.

  • Chattahoochee Station
  • River Valley Station
  • Spalding Hollow
  • Neely Meadows
  • Spalding Bluff
  • Holcomb Bridge Station
  • Spalding Chase
  • Peachtree Square Townhomes

These neighborhoods may not be paved in the order above, but Contractors will post signage in the specific neighborhoods before work begins.

In addition to roads, the City plans for the construction of more sidewalks and multi-use trails.

The location of new sidewalks and multi-use trails is based on the needs and gaps within our current network. We have been focusing on connections to businesses, schools, bus stops, and other public facilities as well as worn paths we have noticed throughout the city that show a clear need for sidewalks. 

Below is the list of sidewalks that will be under construction this summer:

  • Woodhill Dr
  • Meadow Rue Dr
  • Parkway Lane
  • Jay Bird Alley
  • Green Pointe Parkway
  • The Corners Parkway

Additionally, we have several sidewalks that are currently under design:

  • Jay Bird Alley
  • SR 141/Peachtree Parkway 
  • Jones Bridge Circle 

Multi-Use Trails that are currently under construction are in Technology Park, at Town Center, and the Riverlands Path, located on East Jones Bridge Road and Medlock Bridge Road.

In the future, the City will work towards the design and construction of the following multi-use trails:

Burdell Branch: This portion of the system will connect Engineering Drive south to Woodhill Drive. An existing segment of Corners Connector currently ends at Engineering Drive and Peachtree Parkway in front of the Corners Fine Wine & Spirits and RaceTrac.  This project will extend that trail infrastructure south to the Chick-fil-A area and its adjacent shopping centers.

Farrell Creek: Will consist of approximately 2.13 miles of 10′ to 12′ concrete multi-use trail. It is proposed to run from Peachtree Corners Circle west of Peachtree Parkway to Engineering Drive. This trail would run around two water features along Triangle Parkway and an additional water feature north of Engineering Drive.

Crooked Creek Trail North: Crooked Creek Trail North is composed of 7 segments totaling approximately 4.04 miles. The segment is planned to run along Crooked Creek from the area around Peachtree Corners Circle to Spalding Drive. In addition to the planned 7 segments, there is one alternative segment (.17 miles) that may be constructed as part of the project.

Crooked Creek Trail South: Crooked Creek Trail South is composed of 7 segments totaling approximately 2.95 miles. The segment is planned to run from Peachtree Parkway West to Peachtree Corners Circle. It will be located along Holcomb Bridge Road from Peachtree Parkway to the intersection of Jimmy Carter Blvd. From that intersection, it will move along Crooked Creek to Peachtree Corners Circle.

That’s a brief update on the status of paving, sidewalks, and multi-use trails in the City.  Although there will be some delays and inconvenience, please bear with us as we complete our current paving schedules.  We want our citizens to be confident that we are making progress on our goal of having the best streets, sidewalks, and multiuse trails in Gwinnett County.  

Stay safe,


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City Government

How will drones be used in the city, new City Budget is coming up and City Marshals are ready to be hired.



The City Marshals will also be working with projects related to law enforcement and the use of drones.

The city of Peachtree Corners, Georgia has been continuing to make strides in technology and community development. In the latest episode of “Prime Lunchtime with The City Manager,” Brian Johnson shared several updates and plans for the city.

The Curiosity Lab Criterion Road Race

During the Curiosity Lab Criterion Road Race, Spoke Safety officially unveiled their new road safety technology. This device enhances safety for vulnerable road users by allowing for two-way communication between the device and automobiles, providing safety messages to drivers.

The event was livestreamed internationally, and Audi became an official partner in the project. The partnership will explore the enhancement of the vulnerable road user technology to make it better, easier to use and scalable.

Pickleball feasibility study

The city is considering building a 40-50 court pickleball facility and has commissioned a sports facility consulting firm to conduct a feasibility study. They will determine the market demand and economic impact. The study is expected to take a month, and results will be presented to the mayor, council and interested parties in early summer.

“Clearly there’s a demand,” Brian Johnson shared. “The question is, is it enough for the city to end up putting any time, energy and money into facilitating something? And we want to make sure that we are shooting at the bullseye that we need to.”

The city marshal system

Additionally, the city is starting a city marshal program, which will begin with three post-certified marshals. The job announcement and requirements will be posted in May with interviews to be conducted in June. The program is expected to start in July, and the marshals will be based in City Hall.

The city marshals will have access to brand new hybrid vehicles, drones and the fūsus technology. The marshals will have the same authorities as any other police officer but be limited by policy. The Mayor and council will establish the policies and limitations on what the city marshals will be able to do.

Budget, housing, dog parks and more

During the May City Council Meeting, the budget for the upcoming fiscal year will be officially presented to the city. The budget includes increased funding for street resurfacing, multi-use trail activity and housing redevelopment in the south part of the city. The housing redevelopment project aims to acquire foreclosed and dilapidated properties and build affordable starter homes with equity control to make them accessible to more residents.

The city is using federal funds from the ARPA and will work with the Gwinnett Housing Authority for this project. The purchase price of these homes will be controlled through agreements with the building entity to prevent prices from getting out of hand. This will help fill the demand for starter homes in the area and remove squalor, vacant homes and foreclosed homes.

The city is constructing a dog park at the Town Center with two separate halves for big and small dogs. The park will be made of Astroturf to prevent dogs from digging and getting muddy. There will also be shade structures and seating areas for owners.

After the last event on the summer event calendar, the Town Center will undergo construction to relocate playground equipment and improve drainage. The playground equipment will be organized into two different areas for younger and older children.

North American Properties recently had the groundbreaking for the upcoming Forum redevelopment. The first section of the interior parking spaces will be removed to finish the Linear Park. In addition, there will be new outdoor seating and the parking deck will start construction in the late 2023 season.

FAA and drone programs

The city is working with the drone regulation team of the FAA to help create a local drone activity regulation. The FAA is interested in how it can handle multiple drones using the same wireless signal, even when beyond visual line of sight.

Peachtree Corners and the FAA will work with partnerships with T-Mobile and Deutsche Telecom to utilize the 5G wireless environment in the City. The City Marshals will also be working with projects related to law enforcement and the use of drones. The goal is to help the FAA issue regulations on private drones.

Overall, Peachtree Corners is a city that is making significant investments in technology and community development. With all of these upcoming plans, it is clear that the city is working to improve the lives of its residents.

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