City managers looking to create a Smart City are often burden by a long list of technologies, use cases and theoretical profit digits, normally linked to big investments. The key question is: how to find the right path to get from dream to reality?
We must be ambitious defining the strategy – what does our City want to become? But as important as the global strategy is to plan the steps within this path. We need to identify some quick wins to engage (or make them fall in love!) citizens, the media and the government. With that, weaving a network of Smart Spaces will become especially valuable: many small and medium Smart Buildings composing together the Smart City puzzle.
For example, if we are able to create a Smart Hospital in where all systems from the “access control”, the “climatization” or the “lighting”, to the “patient monitors” or the “automatic pharmacy” start to work in a well-orchestrated way, we will have achieved not only to increase the efficiency inside this specific building, but to also “make a city”, in a broader sense, to care for our citizens.
If besides that, we are able to coordinate the patient experience inside the hospital with the parking lot, the electrical car charging points, or the real-time traffic information to be able to comfortably arrive to the hospital, or with a good Telecare service when we return home, we are then bringing a “smart journey” for our citizens.
If the cleaning and waste management tasks inside these Smart Spaces (hospitals, airports, offices or schools) start to be automated in function of the data collected from many IoT sensors and devices (ammonia level, trashcan filling level, air quality, number of users, etc.) then, we are increasing not only the efficiency of these services, but we are also creating smart points which will then integrate into a global cleaning or waste management service across the city.
Flexibility and scalability: we need to guarantee the future of our investments. We have to be technologically “agnostic” choosing open and interoperable solutions, being able to multiply by 10, 100 or 1000 the volume of data, the number of users or the connected devices.
We need of course to take advantage of the Machine Learning capabilities to use the enormous amount of data collected from each Smart Space. We will then identify behaviour patterns, both from the systems and devices distributed throughout the city, and along the citizens’ journeys, to be able to continuously improve the services offered.
Over the next few years, the developments of our cities are going to be done not only using brick and mortar, but also bytes, chips and megahertz. Let’s get ready for it.” – Carlos Álvarez, Director de IoT Smart Buildings, Getronics
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