- Published: 17 August 2023
Today, we can witness real-world examples of how governments, businesses and citizens are making city living easier, more fulfilling and more secure, writes Sean Kopelke.
I recently spoke at the Transport for NSW Technology Showcase event in Sydney about emerging technologies and how we are seeing them drive the development of smart cities across the globe.
Connected cities, or ‘smart cities’, may have been seen as somewhat of a buzzword in the past, but in the last few years we have seen big steps in innovation, catalysed by the changes in the world we live in — from the pandemic to digitisation of our day-to-day lives. And that transformation has only just begun.
As an ongoing iterative process, the evolution of our cities requires continued innovation and collaboration between local governments and businesses. Through this, we can turn the vision of connected, efficient and round-the-clock citizen services into a reality.
Investing in smart cities can bring a wide range of benefits, including improved quality of life, increased sustainability, enhanced efficiency, economic benefits, and improved resilience. By embracing smart technologies and investing in the infrastructure needed to support them, governments and other stakeholders can create more liveable, sustainable, and efficient urban environments for all citizens.
When looking at the use-cases for smart cities, there are four themes that standout as key factors to success:
- Leveraging Data: Leveraging open and government data and having strong partnerships between government and private organisations to improve a service.
- Mobile-first: Mobilising and digitising as much as we can so citizens have all the information they need in a mobile-first environment.
- Open and targeted communications: This includes servicing people who now work from a home office, as well as fast, targeted communications to workers out in the field like a fire fighter, paramedic or police officer.
- Automation: Automating actions, processes and decisions where relevant, so we can do more with less.
And where is all this technology built and hosted? This is where a multi-cloud environment comes in. Building services on the optimum platform for the job – and engaging a passionate and talented developer team to make this happen – is important in the development and flexibility required for smart city innovation.
Transport for London is a good example. As one of the world’s oldest and busiest transport systems, handling up to five million passenger journeys a day, Transport for London (TfL) wanted to reduce maintenance windows for its transport system to shorten delays and make the citizen transport experience better. By leveraging data science and predictive analytics to identify train disruption and track failures, TfL was able to predict where and when resources or materials would be needed to resolve any issues as quickly as possible. This solution is expected to save around £3 million ($AU5.8 million) a year.
Another example is Singapore’s Smart Urban Mobility initiative. Singapore is already seen as one of the most innovative countries in the world, with a strong history in digital government. By leveraging digital technologies, Singapore drivers and passengers can benefit from enhanced comfort, convenience and reliability of their public transport systems, and support the vision of a car-lite Singapore. Through this shared network of sensors, government agencies can also collect and analyse data to make decisions on city planning in a cost-effective way. To store and analyse all the data collected, safely and securely, this initiative is running across a multi-cloud environment.
- Las Vegas
And finally, let’s look at the City of Las Vegas. In a bustling, lively city, the government wanted to find ways to improve the safety and well-being of citizens. The goal was to capture and analyse behaviours and movements within the city so they could identify potentially unsafe or unlawful activity before or as it happens. Thanks to a comprehensive network of devices at the edge, running on a multi-cloud platform, the City of Las Vegas can now track heat from buildings or restaurants to detect a fire before smoke even appears, or spot theft or unlawful activity by tracking behaviours of people over time. Data can be analysed faster and when needed, emergency services can reach the scene more quickly.
Cities around the world are working to become digitally smarter, to improve services and security for citizens, and drive more efficiency and opportunity into everyday life. Technologies like 5G networks for faster and more robust cloud connections will enable possibilities we haven’t yet imagined, and as they become reality, citizens and organisations will benefit.
Autor(en)/Author(s): Sean Kopelke
Quelle/Source: Government News, 09.08.2023