Cities innovate on the streets

Natalie Bannerman
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Natalie Bannerman takes a look at five cities around the world that are working to be smart

Smart cities are where everyday life meets innovation – from the mundane - improving traffic on a daily commute - to optimising life-changing work of emergency services. 

Carl Piva, VP for strategic programmes at TM Forum, says: “Smart city concepts are all about unlocking unprecedented value for residents – and society as a whole – using technology in new, meaningful ways. If the smart city engine is communications, data is the raw fuel that powers this engine. 

“Service providers, having connected the entire world over the last couple of decades, find themselves at the cusp of a new revolution – but one they can’t lead alone. They need to evolve their value propositions and rebalance their skillsets to take the position of enablers of smart cities.

Istanbul 340Istanbul with Ericsson 

Under the umbrella of the Istanbul Informatics and Smart City Technologies company (Isbak), Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) and Ericsson are working to accelerate their ranking to top five on the World Global Cities index. 

Charlotta Sund, head of the industry and society customer group at Ericsson, said: “IMM and Isbak intend to achieve a fast, integrated, people-oriented transformation based on technology and innovation. Ericsson will work on key development areas in metropolitan Istanbul, as well as a number of identified targets related to urbanisation, population growth and resource utilisation. Assessments conducted together with IMM and Isbak will guide our work as we aim to maximize this unique city’s opportunities.”

RüsselsheimMain 340Rüsselsheim am Main, Kelsterbach & Raunheim with ZTE

The three German towns are working with ZTE to build a Smart City region, with 15 individual projects. 

According to Manfred Ockel, mayor of Kelsterbach, “these include solutions such as smart parking, smart street lights, smart metering – intelligent measurement of power and heat – and public WLAN as well as other digital solutions which we want to implement over the coming months.

Thomas Jühe, mayor of Raunheim, said: “Smart City is our number one future focus. We will be able to collect and deliver data that is urgently needed by businesses – from environmental to traffic data. Businesses need to stay ahead, and this is exactly what we want to ensure.” 

tampere 340Tampere, Finland, with Nokia

Smart Tampere focuses on the areas of e-health, smart lighting, smart energy and extended user experience. The initiative bring together local government, local companies, NGO’s, and residents to explore these opportunities.

Tampere has secured roughly €6-€8 billion to implement the smart city plan by 2030. Nokia will use its experience in key technology areas, such as 5G and IoT in the joint venture.

Tero Blomqvist, the Smart Tampere program director, said: “The people of Tampere are making a substantial commitment to putting our city at the forefront of smart city development. Working with Nokia is a natural fit, as a company that has played such an important role in the development of the modern economy here in Tampere and in the country at large.”

singapore 340Smart Nation Singapore 

Announced in 2015, the Smart Nation Singapore initiative aims to implement technology into every aspect of life on the city-state by 2025. The government is rolling out projects in five domains: transport; home and environment; business productivity; health and enabled ageing; and public sector services. 

No vendors have been named, with the government saying it will work with industry vendors, including small businesses and start-ups, to develop technologies.

Vivian Balakrishnan, minister for foreign affairs and minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation initiative, said: “Artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, and 3D printing or additive manufacturing, are platform technologies which are going to completely transform the way we live, work, play, mobilise, meet and communicate.” 

central-milton-keynes 340Milton Keynes, UK, with Huawei

The city of Milton Keynes and Huawei are looking at how innovative technology addresses the various needs of citizens. Key areas include street lights, parking spaces, rubbish and waste bins, smart buildings, smart energy and traffic lights. 

Gordon Luo, CEO of Huawei UK, said: “Cities may have different priorities, but the ultimate goal is the same: to improve local quality of life.