Week 19 task—About smart cities

According to Guardian website, the promise of the Smart City concept is that better living through biochemistry gives way to a dream of better living through data.

Smart cities have been promulgated most energetically by big technology, engineering and consulting companies. The movement is predicated on ubiquitous wireless broadband and the embedding of computerised sensors into the urban fabric, so that bike racks and lamp posts, CCTV and traffic lights, as well as geeky home appliances such as internet fridges and remote-controlled heating systems, become part of the so-called “internet of things”

Its buildings have automatic climate control and computerised access; its roads and water, waste and electricity systems are dense with electronic sensors to enable the city’s brain to track and respond to the movement of residents

A smart city might be a low-carbon city, or a city that’s easy to move around, or a city with jobs and housing.

However, the potential problems as follow:

what this smart city vision might mean for the ordinary citizen? It offer only improvement rater than acquire a better understanding of what technologists call the “end user” – in this case, the citizen.

what challenges face technologists hoping to weave cutting-edge networks and gadgets into centuries-old streets and deeply ingrained social habits and patterns of movement?

The smartest city of the future could exist only in our heads, as we spend all our time plugged into a virtual metropolitan reality that is so much better than anything physically built, and fail to notice as the world around us crumbles.

how safe is open data?

In the end, the smart city will destroy democracy,  Hollis warns. “Like Google, they’ll have enough data not to have to ask you what you want.”

There is a interesting example of a smart city project:

Pisa, Deutsche Telekom and Kiunsys launch smart city pilot project to optimize inner city parking as part of ITS; POSSE

The Italian city of Pisa and Deutsche Telekom have launched a smart city pilot project to test an intelligent parking system and to analyze historical traffic data via a “big data” service. The system, which will integrate into Pisa’s intelligent transport system (ITS), will help motorists in Pisa find a free parking space more easily and quickly, as well as pay for it via their smart phone.

The city of Pisa worked with Deutsche Telekom and its partner firm Kiunsys to install the new smart city service on Piazza Carrara, located directly on the banks of the river Arno. Wireless Parking Spots Sensors (PSS) on the floor of each parking spot detect whether the spaces are free or occupied. Several data units collect the information and send it over the mobile network to the city’s server infrastructure. The information is then displayed on indication panels which guide drivers to a free space. The solution is also integrated in Pisa’s existing Tap&Park app which drivers can choose to download to take them directly to a free parking space and even pay for it via the app.

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The new parking system integrates seamlessly into our intelligent transport system (ITS). It eases the flow of traffic and helps to cut CO2emissions. The pilot project is a big stride for Pisa towards improving its traffic situation over the long term. Indeed, drivers looking for a parking space make up some 30 percent of inner-city traffic. So the easier it is for them to find a spot, the less traffic there will be.

Within this framework, Pisa has developed a comprehensive scoping document to set up a plan for integrating all existing separate systems into a common database using open specifications and standards. This open data architecture will be an ITS platform and hardware, including the specific data that needs to be exchanged between systems.

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The smart parking pilot site in the piazza.

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One of the Kiunsys PSS units.

As a result, Pisa has already been collecting traffic-related data over the past few years which will now be analyzed as part of the pilot project. The partners hope to gain a deeper insight into how the traffic infrastructure is used, which will benefit traffic planning in future.

Reference:

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/06/20140626-pisa.html

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