With the rise of smart cities, changes in urban infrastructure – especially connectivity – is changing, Financial Times reports.
Urban infrastructure will be interconnected via the internet of things (IoT): “Roads themselves will be online. Water and power grids will have smart sensors. All this should make our urban spaces more efficient and convenient, less polluted, safer and more liveable,” Financial Times says.
The IoT is already working effectively in different cities’ infrastructure. For example, Seattle’s “Rainwatch” solution anticipates rainfall and can send out flood warnings. London is integrating a system that will connect streetlights to a mesh network for easy operation, and eventually detect environmental factors, like pollution. Other cities are using the IoT to make concrete smart; sensors can be placed in concrete that alert workers when it sets.
“This means you don’t need to leave a margin of error and you can put up buildings much faster,” William Newton, president and managing director of WiredScore, told Financial Times. “A lot of the internet of things will be small improvements like that.”
What decision makers should keep in mind:
While upgrading city infrastructure to a smarter status is both exciting and fast moving, decision makers should consider which aspects their city actually needs. Financial Times says that the choices of networks and connectivity solutions depend on “use case,” or who and which businesses are using them, and what their needs are. In a lot of cases, cities will likely use a mix of solutions – mobile, WiFi, fixed connectivity and long-range, low power wireless platforms, and more.
Jeremy Cherlot, chief executive of Community Fibre, located in London, tells decision makers that fiber is a key ingredient to the success of smart city connectivity, too. “A single thread of fiber enables a torrent of data and will mean virtually unlimited capacity,” he told Financial Times. The combination of these, and the volume and speed that fiber enables connectivity “will make the greatest difference to our lives,” he said.