Smart City Scenarios – Industry stepping into municipal authority (Part 2)

Would you want to live in Google-City? Or any other city created by a big corporation? Technically there are various corporations that could offer such a scenario. And already do! Think of PANASONIC with Fujisawa – “a smart town through the concerted efforts of local government, businesses, and residents”. Covering all the aspects of smart energy, -mobility, -security, -health a.s.o. people would put on their that’s-where-I-wanna-live-list.

Is Fujisawa thinkable for Europe? What is so much different form the stereotype new housing estates that keep growing in the outskirts of cities? And how big is the step from providing “external” infrastructure to “internal” structures and say?
Think of a city administration that is managed like a global corporation.
Of citizens that are data recorded like employees. Of city management organized in processes like corporations do. The “City” provides superior living and working conditions, attracts business and people and grows successfully. This scenario offers great scalability for technical solutions, as the successfull “Corporate”-City can easily be replicated in any other part of the nation. With growing globalization maybe even globally. If citizens travel they can rely on familiar infrastructure, the share of and access to systems is most convenient – like switching on your computer at home and being connected automatically. Police is a mixture of facility management and HR department – make sure they don’t sack you :-). The various restaurants in town are like a lushes canteene – you just pay with your name, the amount gets deducted with your local tax and if you have fish & chips 3 times a week your city’s physician sends an invite for a nutrition seminar. You really get cared!

But still – why does the thought give me goosebumps?

The remaining silos can be crossed and we finally manage to apply and transfer internet thinking for holistic solutions spanning various segments. It would be easy to set standards for infrastructure like mobility-, energy-, security-, health-, governance-models. If one corporation alone cannot cover all requirements strategic partners fill the portfolio gaps. These consortia ensure the cross-semgent interoperability for a frictionless, probably web-based management system.
Supply and disposal of the city is mainly centralized. Due to the lack of public control prices are rising. The rising costs for energy lead to a growing demand for energy management solutions. The risen costs of mobility lead to a decline in recreational-mobility, however mobility itself decreases, due to the new home-focus, encouraged by telepresence-solutions. IT security is quite important and centrally provided with the free Wifi. Also in real life urban space is covered with surveillance systems but still people feel uncomfortable due to the competitive atmosphere in town and lacking solidarity.

Ok, I admit, it might be a bit extreme. But therefore it is a scenario!
How far are we from such a scenario? Is it thinkable for Europe 2030?


Ever stolen a bicycle? Then you might also be interested in robbing a grocery store.

This article is about predictive systems. Examples talk about how to prevent crime based on historic data from e.g. police, real time data measured and run through algorithmic surveillance. Just as e.g. Amazon can tell what books you are likely to buy next, similar algorithms might tell the police where and what crimes might happen in a certain area.

It’s all about platforms

(Impressions from the “Smart City Expo World Congress 2012″, Barcelona / Spain, 13.-15.11.2012)

Management platforms are a clear trend when talking about smart city management. (Lucky those who have enough to manage smartly already!).
The general customer benefit of such platform solutions is convenience due to less systems that need to be set up, handled and maintained as well as cost saving and better efficiency due to improved response times based on company-wide surfaces and connectivity of subsystems.

The emergency and security sector can highly benefit from such technology. ICTs are becoming a key player in helping manage, monitor and detect accidents, system failures or anomalies, and to direct critical situations. They assist the coordination of police, rescue or emergency health services and the monitoring and management of city resilience. City resilience refers to the city’s capacity to react to unexpected natural disasters or accidents that could cause disruptions to urban services or transport networks.

Invensys Operations Management, showed a real time integrated software platform for remote control monitoring of city’s urban services such as drinking water supply network, sewage and rainwater treatment network, watering systems, electricity and gas supplies, street lighting, pneumatic waste collection, energy efficient network in housing and environmental control network. To analyse and evaluate the performance of each of the city’s operations with the aim of complying with the environmental sustainability criteria contained in the urban design plan. Through the integration and consolidation of data from a multitude of instrumentation devices interaction with the subsystems is possible. The platform is adaptable for other solutions such as facility and operations management of airports and complex buildings.

The IBM IOC (Intelligent Operations Center) for Smarter Cities has a similar approach. The executive dashboard helps city leaders to gain insight into various aspects of the city.

Focussing from the big playground “city” to residential buildings Schneider Electric showed an online platform for monitoring, interacting and steering of HVAC, access control, video security, lighting and energy management. The solution is an open platform that can interface all devices, however Schneider also provides the solution including hardware.

World out there – any other relevant solutions?