IoT – Smart Cities

Starting with the activities at the Auto-ID-Center [1] at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where a global standard system for RFID and other sensors had been defined, IoT is now an accepted part of our private and public life and has already been established in the industrial sector. Even governmental administrations recognized the impact of this technology and a lot of smart features of different levels were initialized.

Switzerland stated that thirty percent of the traffic in cities is due to parking space search. Smart parking provides parking information in real-time and is thus a prerequisite for optimal parking management. [2]

Hamburg invented a Waste-App where citizens can take a picture of the rubbish corner and send it with the current geodata to the sanitation department [3]

Smart lighting in Rio de Janeiro: a sustainable lighting infrastructure installed for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has elevated the safety of its citizens and offer approximately 50 per cent of energy savings. [4]

In the UK the innovation center for sensor and imaging systems CENSIS supports projects that uses sensors to detect problems under insulation [5]

But knowing that half of the global population is living in cities [6] there is a strong need for new urban concepts and a masterplan for Smart Cities. Isolated features have to be integrated and the administration has to build a long-term and holistic strategy.

Concepts for Smart Cities are emerging all over the world. For example, in South Korea, close to Seoul, Songdo City has been built from scratch. It has already implementing many elements of a networked, smart city: all people who live or work here are involved in a permanent data collection: video surveillance of public space in the houses, multi-function smart cards such as public transport, health care, housing access, banking services, etc. The networking should provide about 30% energy and resource savings compared to conventional cities. [7]

Vienna announced the initiative “Smart City Wien” in 2011 with action plans, roadmap 2020 and beyond and a vision 2050. The initiative has the aim to guarantee the highest quality of life for all Viennese citizens and to save resources through comprehensive innovations. This includes for example efficient energy supply on a renewable energy basis, social inclusion, medical care, resource-saving mobility, new standards for energy saving in buildings and the goal of making Vienna a preferred business location.

Austin, Texas, has launched a strategic roadmap for its smart city projects in May 2016. There smart activities include a smart grid and digital meter initiative to optimize billing and energy efficiency. They leverage satellite imaging to detect water leaks. Austin is trailing the launch of a 5G network, making it potentially one of the first in the nation to get the technology. [9]

Bhubaneswar, India, focus their Smart City Projects on e-governance; waste, water and energy management, urban mobility and other goals such as healthcare and education. Smart features will be implemented on a pilot area selection, which will be replicated on a city-wide level in subsequent stages of implementation. [10]

Melbourne, Australia, Melbourne has a cross-functional smart city team consisting of 45 people. Their projects include a pedestrian counting system to understand how people use the city, an open data program where you can explore publicly available datasets to export visualize and map. For example, data of the more than 70,000 trees of the city is ready to explore. [11]

We’re seeing a trend of how the IoT is changing the way we interact and live in today’s cities. There are new opportunities to connect formerly independent devices, providing synergistic effects and contributing to huge advancements in the future.














2 comments on “IoT – Smart Cities”

  1. When smart cities continue to grow and dominate more cities, the risk associated with personal data created and accumulated will increase as well, which leads to a rise in protection of personal digital assests as well. We might need to spend more money than we think to protect these private, intangible assets.

  2. I also think that IoT is a huge opportunity in cities. I believe that it would be especially useful for traffic management. With sensors and cameras around cities, traffic light could be managed dynamically to improve and correct traffic congestion. That could even improve more if traffic was managed by AI algorithms, and even more when autonomous vehicles connected to traffic management centers become mainstream.


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