First, we had smartphones, then smart buildings, but now it’s all about the Smart City. A fully realised Smart City envisions a setting which caters to the needs of residents. But what is actually involved to achieve this?
1. Intelligent data
The term means gathering large quantities of data to be analysed and then using it to influence change. Data is a big business now. According to Bernard Marr of Bernard Marr & Co., we create as much digital data every two days as we did from the beginning of the early 2000s. Gathering and analysing large quantities of data can effectively predict behaviour and prepare for it, such as public transport capacity requirements.
2. Smart buildings
A Smart building much like a Smart City takes into account comfort and safety. It can collect data to influence heating or lighting, simultaneously saving energy. Likewise, for the retail sector, data collected on visitor behaviour patterns could inform the business of where they should focus on high-value merchandise.
3. Traffic Management
Surveillance cameras can track busy routes and change traffic lights to minimise congestion, reducing travel time and emissions. Linking back to intelligent data, as more data is collected over time, predictions can then be made regarding traffic management.
4. Open Data
Open data within a city can allow for smart devices to be used for access to public facilities, such as digital transport passes. Smart City of the year 2018, Singapore has an open data source which allows access to various apps for residents. A Smart Parking app which lets users know where there are free spaces and an emergency response app alerts services to your location are among a variety of apps available to Singapore residents.
Key reasoning behind the Smart City initiative is to increase sustainability. The collection of data can influence energy usage on things such as street lighting, ensuring that key routes and frequented areas are covered for the safety of residents.
6. Internet of Things (IoT)
An Internet of Things means everyday devices collecting and sharing data maximise their productivity and effectiveness. Right now, you probably interact with the Internet of Things without even realising. Current domestic versions include wearable technology or Smart Toothbrushes which both involve the device sending data to your smartphone via an app which monitors use of the device, telling you to exercise more or brush for longer. In the future, there could be an increase in devices communicating with each other for increased personalisation.
7. A Central Command Centre
A centralised command centre will analyse data from a variety of sources to reduce response time to issues that need to be fixed such as road repairs or emergency service responses. Rio has a centralised command centre which according to SmartCitiesCouncil.com ‘analyzes 60 different layers of data from sensors around the city’ and ‘has decreased emergency response times by a full 30%.’
Our contribution to Smart Cities
We were delighted to be awarded a tender by the Tayside Procurement Consortium in November 2018 to provide CCTV in their bid to establish Dundee, Perth & Kinross and Angus as Smart Cities. The initiative is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the 8th City ERDF Strategic Intervention Programme. The councils aim to improve their position as a smart city by addressing the themes of waste, mobility, energy, public safety, water management and infrastructure through intelligent data. Creating new command centres within the councils will allow easier alarm and assistance across the regions. Read the Tayside Procurement Consortium Press Release here for more information.