More cities than ever before are investing in smart city technology and changing how cities operate. There are many benefits that come along with making a city “smart.” It gives the city more information and data to help drive decision making leading to tremendous benefits that positively influence the lives of everyone who lives, works, and visits, such as:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by building smart buildings that efficiently manage resources such as water and electricity,
- Less traffic congestion on the roads through solutions such as automated tolling, intelligent traffic lights, and fleet management, and
- Safer communities by reducing criminal activities through technologies such as license plate recognition, gunshot detectors and body cameras.
From Florida to Belgium, governments share the impact of their smart city initiatives.
Doral City, Florida Improves Quality of Life
Doral realizes a portfolio of smart city initiatives, including one called “Quality of Place.” Because the safety and security that Doral residents experience are key to their quality of life, the initiative emphasizes security measures, which have intense data gathering and processing workloads. For example, Doral tracks vehicle traffic to deter crime. “Dell devices integrated with license plate readers have already read more than 10 million license plates and identified 3% of them as concerns,” says Gladys Gonzalez, IT director for the City of Doral. “This effort will eventually encompass the city’s entire periphery.”
Within the “Quality of Place” initiative, Doral will also implement new systems that will provide more environmental and background information to police officers responding to incidents. Location details and facial recognition enhanced by video analytics and artificial intelligence will help them act faster and strengthen their safety.
In just three years, Doral has implemented 40 percent of the smart city technology measures identified by the National League of Cities. Doral is already preparing a Smart City 2.0 strategy, which will focus even more on enhancing customer service on the city’s digital infrastructure. As a certified smart city, Doral has become highly attractive to families and organizations that have traditionally not had a strong presence there, such as medical service providers. The city’s population has grown by 77% during the last eight years. “With 14,746 businesses per 100,000 population, Doral has a WCCD ISO 37120 indicator of 5.6—better than Los Angeles, Amsterdam and London,” Gonzalez points out. “Our smart city successes help the economic development team invite companies to come here. This would not have been possible without Dell Technologies.”
Las Vegas Improves Public Safety
The City of Las Vegas, Nevada, is one of the fastest-growing and most-visited municipalities in the United States. On top of a double-digit population growth rate over the past decade, the city hosts more than 40 million visitors in a typical year.
As it faced the pressures brought by a rapidly growing population and a constant influx of visitors, the City of Las Vegas looked to intelligent digital technologies to help it operate in smarter, more efficient ways. In particular, the city wanted to use smart technologies to improve situational awareness and responsiveness to public safety issues as well as to drive innovative solutions for mobility and economic development.
The City of Las Vegas found its answer in a Dell Technologies-based smart city solution from NTT DATA© Services, a leading global business and IT services provider. The smart city solution incorporates video and sound data inputs from the area, integrated with publicly available, historical data sources, such as crime, weather and social media data. This combination allows the solution to apply advanced analytical processing to facilitate safety decision making.
By leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, the smart city solution also learns to identify normal patterns of activity occurring in public places. It can then detect and alert the authorities to patterns that appear abnormal, helping to reduce response times for first responders.
Ultimately, the creation of a connected urban area has enabled the City of Las Vegas to collect and analyze data efficiently, improve safety, and enhance the lives of both residents and visitors alike. And the future promises to bring even more of the same.
Quick Wins on the Road to a Smarter City
Here are some of the most common first steps to realize quick wins on the road to a smarter city: Smart lighting, smart waste collection and crowd monitoring.
Smart lighting: Public lighting is a common entry point for new smart services. IoT technologies enable planners to deploy energy-efficient streetlights that detect human presence and consume energy only when needed. Combined with low-energy LED bulbs, these adaptive technologies can significantly reduce streetlights’ electricity consumption that now accounts for between 20% and 50% of local government energy bills.
Smart lighting technologies, combined with real-time mobility data coming from vehicles, can also help fine-tune traffic lights to limit congestion. For example, the French city of Nice is leading a trial project focused on smart lampposts in public spaces. The lighting can be adjusted for a range of situations via remote operation or sensors, helping to improve security. The project also considers real-time weather conditions like fog and rain to reduce electricity bills substantially.
Smart waste collection: Efficient and greener waste management is a priority for many cities. Some of them are promoting smart garbage containers, equipped with sensors that alert collecting services
when a container is full. There is nothing less attractive for a city than waste being spread on the street. And it saves money for the City services as garbage collection rounds can be optimized. For example, smart waste is an essential part of the IoT-UK program, backed by a £40m investment from the British government to increase the adoption of high-quality IoT technologies across the private and the public sectors.
Crowd monitoring: Anonymized localization data from smartphones helps cities better manage big
public events like concerts or marathons. This is good for security and mobility as police forces and public traffic managers have a better view of the different flows and can take appropriate measures. For example, the Belgian City of Antwerp uses cellphone-based crowd monitoring techniques to secure popular events like the Marathon or the Tall Ships Races.
With a rapidly growing population, smart cities are more important than ever. Dell Technologies offers the building blocks cities need to on their digital journey, as well as the continued applications and support to maintain and scale. Dell also creates cutting-edge solutions to enable and expand smart cities around the world. Find out more in worldwide Customer Solution Centers and Edge Innovation Centers. Get more detail about Doral’s smart city. Find out how Las Vegas increased public safety. Get a glimpse of other Connected Cities.
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