03 Nov Smart Cities at work!
With the IoT continuing its lumbering march to Technology mindshare dominance, Smart Cities will be in the news more and more as they innovatively use data from millions of sensors in the process of providing citizen services. We thought this would be a good time to go around the world and find some interesting practical examples of Smart Cities at work!
iSPEX-EU: From 1 September to 15 October 2015, citizens of Athens, Barcelona, Belgrade, Berlin, London, Copenhagen, Manchester, Milan and Rome went around taking random pictures of the sky…. What they were actually doing was measuring air pollution. A little lens called a spectropolarimeter was clipped on the camera allowing them to measure the light spectrum, the polarization of the light, and the exact position and direction where picture was taken. This information was used to identify level of aerosols in the atmosphere since analysis of light polarization allows for aerosol density analysis. This data was pooled together to make detailed maps of cities’ air quality! Crowd sourcing data from millions of citizens with smartphones is going to become more common in Smart Cities! The amount of innovation possible is staggering.
Intelligent Waste Management in Birmingham: Birmingham partnered with technology and litterbin companies to make smart litterbins. Data from the smart bins allowed Birmingham to install larger bins where needed. Aggregated data from when Bins would become full allowed for much smarter collection of trash reducing the city’s carbon footprint. And by analyzing which times the frequency of putting trash in was highest it allowed the city to maximize recycling efforts!
Green architecture in Milan: Milan skyscrapers Bosco Verticale are setting the new standard in green architecture. The 256-foot and 344-foot towers are covered from top to bottom and all around with more than 700 trees and 90 species of plants! Water people have used goes through a smart and complex irrigation system that powers the foliage. All the greenery not only enables a calmer, soothing living space the plants also reduce noise level and smog, produce oxygen and help regulate temperature.
San Diego’s intelligent lighting system: San Diego teamed up with GE to do a pilot project with smart streetlights. All the LED streetlights in the pilot project were fitted with sensors and computer vision software. The information they collected was sent to an analytics layer from where it was sliced and diced for various types of reports. The initial use of the data allowed San Diego to fine tune how and when lights would turn on and off allowing for savings of over a quarter million dollars a year. But the future is even brighter. Parking space data uploaded can be used to make a smarter parking app that the city could help guide citizens too. Even make it a paying app for a revenue stream! Furthermore additional sensors via GE’s alliance with SSIT Inc. will allow for immediate recognition of gunfire, with its exact location and origin sent to nearby police units allowing for a lightning quick response time. Street lights with their ubiquitous nature are will be at the vanguard of Smart City initiatives.
Detroit customer service app helps it respond with agility: Detroit city government launched the “Improve Detroit App”. This wildly popular app rated over 4 stars in the Google Play store has brought Detroit city government closer to its citizen like never before. Taking all red tape out of the way the App connects citizens directly to the government. Citizens report an issue, issue is routed to the appropriate department and corrective action is initiated. Over 10,000 complaints made on the app ranging from broken traffic signals to abandoned cars and potholes have been closed. The average time to close a case is nine days an astronomical improvement via the older manual process. Digital customer service doesn’t have to be expensive and fancy. Sometimes all it needs is the will, an app and some process re-engineering.