Smart Cities – A Smarter Future

Cities worldwide share common challenges of growing urban populations and concerns for sustainable urban development. At the same time, cities also face the challenge of maintaining competitiveness while addressing constant economic and technological change created by an increasingly globalized world. These factors impact on issues of urban quality such as housing, economy, culture, social and environmental conditions and are shaping the Smart Cities of the future.

While Juniper Research ranked Barcelona as the Global Smart City of 2015 beating New York and London, mid-size cities make the Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF) annual list of most intelligent cities. Common to the top 7 on the ICF list – they are all lesser known mid-size cities and each have found in the “digital economy’’ a way to rethink themselves. This is encouraging considering that mid-sized cities in comparison to larger metropolises appear to be less well equipped in terms of critical mass, resources and organizing capacity.

Surprisingly, Ipswich is one of the top 7 intelligent cities. Its 20-year economic development plan, when completed in 2031, will mark Ipswich as one of Australia’s model cities. The plan includes growth in the number of new residents and jobs and the re-development of its center. Here digital technologies will be used to attract commercial and residential tenants and to improve public safety. Complementing these strategies are green standards that will make the city center one of the most sustainable in Australia.

Developments in technology are supporting the implementation of M2M and IoT applications for Smart Cities. In Australia, recent advances in wireless communications of 4G/LTE on the 700MHz networks will provide greater network capacity, throughput, data speed, and operational cost-efficiency. Ideal for Smart City applications, the new LoRa radio technology offers extreme range even through buildings and urban environments.

Wireless sensor networks are a key component in the creation of smart cities. For efficient city management, a distributed network of intelligent sensor nodes can measure, monitor, detect and map a range of inputs. Noise, atmospheric pollution, the health of buildings, bridges and other structures, street lighting and traffic and parking management are just some of the factors that can be controlled to achieve an optimal urban environment for residents.

Regardless of size, all highly ranked Smart Cities have achieved better use of existing resources through improved monitoring, controls and coordination of services and infrastructure. Much more than cost reductions and efficiency is achieved though. As defined by ICF,  Smart Cities are, “…cities and regions that use technology not just to save money or make things work better, but also to create high-quality employment, increase citizen participation and become great places to live and work.”

M2M Connectivity will be exhibiting at CeBIT Australia at the M2M/IoT zone on stand C26 in May. Libelium sensor network platforms including Smart Cities, Smart Environment and Smart Parking will be showcased.  Javier Gabas, from Libelium’s head office in Spain, will be on the stand to explain the new LoRa extreme range radio technologies on Libelium’s IoT sensors for Smart Cities and Internet of Things applications. Demonstrations of Sierra Wireless’s new AirPrime HL7549 LTE module for 700MHz boasting download speeds of up to 150Mbps and upload speeds up to 50Mbps will also be conducted on stand C26.

For further details about CeBIT and free exhibition entry, please click here.

 

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