Around the world, cities are growing. There are 22 metropolitan areas with populations of more than 10 million people. By 2050, the population of the world’s cities is expected to almost double, from today’s 3.5 billion to 6.5 billion urban citizens. That amounts to two thirds of the world’s population living in cities. There are major challenges associated with this unprecedented urbanization. Already in 2012, although cities occupied only about 3% of the global land area, they consumed 75% of the natural resources and were responsible for 60-80% of carbon emissions. Cities face mounting sustainability challenges, including increased risk of disaster events due to climate change along with strain on infrastructure from population growth. Growing urban populations mean more costs for cities - from increasing energy use, to over-strained public services, but they also provide a stimulus for innovation.

The Internet of Things has huge potential for local government. The proliferation of Internet-connected devices will bring to city councils the ability to monitor and control services wirelessly across vast areas with minimal power usage. Already, pioneering smart cities like Barcelona are showing the rest of the world the sort of things that can be done. Intel suggested in March 2018 that smart city technologies could give back 125 hours to citizens every year. If time is money, then that amounts to a significant sum: US$5 trillion annually, to be exact. It is important to note, however, that successful smart city initiatives place improving citizens’ quality of life above money-saving, with the latter often being an indirect outcome.

 

Sustainable, smart cities enable progress when the integration of technology is directed into a strategic approach in 3 main areas:

  • Sustainable development: energy efficiency, pollution, resources.
  • Citizen well-being: public safety, better transport, education, healthcare, social care.
  • Economic development: investment, jobs, business retention, sustainable economic growth, and innovation.

This may include remote control and monitoring of council assets including irrigation, water storage, rubbish collection, street lighting, traffic flows, temperature monitoring, security and environmental monitoring, and energy use in real-time centrally, intelligently and increasingly automatically.

A study conducted by pollsters ComRes has suggested that local government still remains unaware, by and large, of the opportunity presented by smart city technologies, and how it can be used to deliver better and more cost-efficient public services. As government increasingly adopts automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence technologies, the nature of public service, and public servants, bring the case that automated decision-making software can behave selflessly, or that a robot can be held accountable. It is about changing minds and focusing on practical outcomes to help people see the benefits. If we can help more councillors understand the possible savings and the benefits, then we have a real opportunity to help local councils improve the services for their communities, as well as free up more budget to be reinvested in front line services.

The growth of online connectivity is a win for citizens, public-sector organisations and the environment alike. As well as improving the level of service they can offer to citizens, smart cities are also achieving impressive cost and energy efficiencies as a result of these initiatives. The Internet of Things can deliver actionable insights to transform landlord efficiency and effectiveness in property maintenance and tenant welfare. The possibilities are endless.

Benefits of IoT Solutions
  • Remote Control & Monitoring
  • Decision Making Data
  • Lower Operational Costs
  • Greater Staff Efficiency
  • Reduce Risk to Staff
  • Reduce Waste
  • Smarter / Safer Cities

Some of the IoT solutions that can help turning a city into a smart city:

  • Automation, control & monitoring for a smarter, safer city.
  • We all know that IoT provides so many opportunities for city councils to save time, money and effort in the delivery of services for ratepayers, but it’s always a great way to add value for your ratepayers, staff and stakeholders. By creating smart cities in your local municipality, you keep in step with best practice and continue to deliver cost-effective services which are sustainable into the future.

    • Smart Sensor Monitoring

    Smart Sensors can be placed discreetly across your municipality where they can gather essential data for city employees and decision makers. Gather data such as ambient temperature, humidity, temperature, soil moisture, gasses and compounds in the atmosphere. Utilize vibration and movement sensors to track movement within city infrastructure or monitor the flow and level of river/lake or dam levels in your region it’s all easy with IoT solutions.

    • Smarter Controls for City Councils

    Reducing the waste of water and electricity is not only good for the environment, but it’s excellent for your council budget also. Imagine all of your irrigation and control of lighting controlled without the need for expensive wiring, digging up parks and roads? IoT smart controllers provide an excellent opportunity to remote control and monitor water and energy use while reducing the cost of installation and repair to old infrastructure.

    • Smart Controllers

    The control and monitoring of municipality irrigation and lighting are two areas which city councils can save time, money and effort utilising our IoT systems. These smart controllers eliminate the need for irrigation and lighting systems to be hardwired or buried underground because they are wireless, which alone is a significant saving when it comes to installing and maintaining such systems. IoT Smart Controllers are an essential addition to the management of water and electricity in a municipality.

    • Ready to Implement IoT Sensors

    Smart Sensors can be placed discreetly across your municipality where they can gather essential data for city employees and decision makers. Quickly gather data such as ambient temperature, humidity, temperature, soil moisture, gasses and compounds in the atmosphere. Utilize vibration and movement sensors to track movement within city infrastructure or monitor the flow and level of river/lake or dam levels in your region it’s all so easy with IoT solutions.

    • Environmental Monitoring

    Managing environmental factors in your council laboratory or in the field is an essential part of planning, reducing risk and preparing for the future of a council municipality. However, doing this kind of environmental monitoring manually is expensive unless you can automate it and gather the data to one central hub. With weather stations and environmental monitoring sensors, you will be able to gather essential data quickly from anywhere across your municipality and receive daily reports.

    Unfortunately, it can also open a door for people with criminal and malicious intent. They could amend or delete vital records or otherwise sabotage systems, whether for the purpose of committing theft, fraud or wanton disruption. It brings a huge potential for cyberterrorism, imagine the havoc someone could cause, for example, if hackers gained control of an entire city’s lighting, electricity, water or traffic-control systems. Security in the devices and the network, is key. If we truly want smart, automated cities, their introduction must go hand-in-hand with smart, automated security.

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