Numerous cities and towns around the world have joined the ranks in developing into a notable Smart City. The cities and towns of today must grow and evolve to embrace and excite the urbanization and resiliency of tomorrow. Municipalities and their leaders are creatively leveraging technology innovations to develop enhanced, smarter offerings that go above and beyond today's city services. While key infrastructures and core city services receive a makeover, some cities have launched new forms of interactive advertising and outdoor technology to engage with citizens and promote local businesses. Some real-world innovative solutions that spark enthusiasm include SolarBox, Citi Bike, and elevate DIGITAL interactive kiosks.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is well known to most people involved in technology innovation. Need a refresher? Check out one of our recent blog posts which defines IoT. Simply put, it’s a growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for internet connectivity where the communications occur between objects and other Internet-enable devices and systems. IoT projects are found across most industries – higher education, healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, consumer electronics, automotive, etc.
When it comes to government, the promise of IoT is designed to solve everyday problems associated with urban living. Urban IoT initiatives are flush with sensors for fire and smoke detection, remote monitoring and performance of infrastructure related to core city services, reporting the structural integrity of roadways and bridges, alerting consumers to parking availability, broadcasting public service announcements or city events and news, tracking lost items (people and pets, too!), smart lighting, and more.
Most state governments know that emerging technologies can transform the delivery of state services and are looking for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) who can see the potential, understand policy, and deliver productive use of technology. How is this different from a private sector CIO? In many ways, the skills are the same.
Today’s successful public sector CIOs are change agents. They are the primary technology business leaders of the state. They do more than manage hardware, software, IT procurement, and training. Today’s public sector CIOs don’t just automate processes, they transform the business of urban management through the use of innovative technology. They can anticipate policy implications and public expectations, define and deliver tangible results, and articulate project plans to all constituents.
What defines a Smart City? Traditionally, a Smart City is a municipality that uses information and communication technology to make its critical infrastructure, services, and utilities more efficient and interactive, and at the same time builds awareness among residents to city services and related programs. The creation of a Smart City requires investments in human and social capital, communications infrastructure, and wise management of natural resources. This combination helps support sustainable economic development and higher quality of life for residents, visitors, and businesses.
Modern cities face many challenges accompanied by the corresponding opportunities: from providing a high quality of life to ensuring socio-economic development; from efficient and innovative business development to the reduction of crime. Central to successfully addressing challenges and capitalizing on opportunities is the adoption of innovative information and communication technologies.
Have you ever wondered what enables the Smart Cities of today and prepares them for greater, smarter tomorrows? Sensor technology is a prime candidate. These electronic devices measure, track, and report information on just about all city functions, making it easy for cities to capture, aggregate, and analyze the constant flow of information. The goal is to make real-time decisions and at the same time mitigate negative impacts on the daily lives of city residents, visitors, and businesses, and ensure the efficient and effective use of city budgets and resources. Cities and towns are able to leverage sensor-based technology and data in ways that give insight into their city that aid in keeping daily operations and core services running smoothly, effectively, and efficiently.
Further defining and developing their Smart Cities, municipalities around the globe are testing ways to equip existing street ‘furniture’ – parking meters, lamp posts, trash bins, and more – with 'smart city' applications, devices, and sensors for more intelligent ways to manage and maintain city services and infrastructures.
There is a groundswell building around the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City initiatives. Some of the solutions are Jetson-like in their application to city operations, management and planning – sci-fi technology sending data from various city and residental applications to individuals' smartphones, self-operating transportation, smart six-foot-tall touchscreens to navigate subways, public space Wi-Fi, and connected public parking.
The Internet of Things is not some far-fetch, future reality that has yet to be realized. Success will come as cities turn to technology innovations that help them streamline operations, better forecast needs, and solve issues like pollution, congestion, accessibility, increasing waste, and sustainability.
Ater the RE/WORK IoT Summit in Boston, we debriefed the team on the latest and greatest conversations among the movers and shakers of Smart Cities & IoT iniatitives. We've captured the most compelling questions below to share with you.
Imagine a world where cities talk and share live updates on air and noise pollution, traffic patterns and parking availability, water quality, power and light availability. That sort of insight could dramatically improve the economic and environmental health of city residents, visitors, employees and businesses, and increase productivity and working conditions for those involved in city management and maintenance.
W. David Stephenson dubbes the Bigbelly solution as the "epitome of the IoT-enabled product: the trash can!" in his latest blog post. Read on to learn more:
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the epitome of the IoT-enabled product: the trash can!
My reader statistics do not indicate this blog has a heavy readership among trash cans, but let me apologize in advance to them for what I’m about to write: it’s not personal, just factual.
I’m sorry, but you municipal trash cans are pathetic!
Erika Morphy of Computerworld details a pilot project deployed in the City of New York that elevates the value and offering of the standard Bigbelly smart waste system. What more can it offer to the pedestrians passing by on the busy city streets? Read on to learn more:
A smart waste management company is testing adding Wi-Fi units to its containers in the hopes that cities will want to deploy its system to get a twofer: smart waste disposal and municipal Wi-Fi that works.
Cities’ various attempts to install widespread municipal Wi-Fi over the years have not ended well. They have come against physical problems in the form of buildings and office towers that block signals. They have found it hard to squeeze funding from already tight budgets. In many cases, they have been overwhelmed by pushback from private sector providers of mobile broadband.
A test pilot recently held in New York City, though, could knock aside those issues. This project was conducted by a smart waste management company.
That’s right. A smart waste management company believes it can successfully help municipalities deploy citywide Wi-Fi from its smart trash containers. And it makes sense. Here’s why.