How the top 4 Smartest Cities are Becoming Street-Wise

World urbanization has been growing at a rapid rate in the past few years, which is why IEEE Smart Cities are predicting the population in cities across the globe to double by 2050. This growth means that there is an increased demand for cities to offer intelligent methods for a sustainable environment, reduce environmental impact and offer a higher quality of life to its citizens.

Certain cities have taken the ideas of being ‘Smart’ above and beyond to improve citizens' lives in the most effective way possible by developing into what is commonly known as a ‘Smart City’. This has meant that there is currently competition to see what city can become the smartest. There are currently 4 top cities in the world which are exceeding in becoming ‘Smart’ and are beginning to set the standard of a Smart City. They have devised new initiative ideas which are being replicated by other countries in their efforts to become a Smart City.

Over the next few weeks we will take a closer look at the Top 4 Smart Cities around the world and how they’ve earned their global reputation.


Nice is becoming a smart city

Nice was one of the first cities to embark on a year-long Smart City proof-of-concept, and it continues to innovate its city management, bringing new services to citizens.  It is partnering with eight companies, including tech company Cisco, for sustainable urban development through an alliance called ‘Think Global’. One of the alliance's projects called ‘Connected Boulevard’ involves testing different applications such as waste disposal, environmental monitoring, ‘Smart’ parking and light efficiency. Applications collect data through 200 wirelessly connected devices and sensors deployed along Boulevard Victor Hugo (which is 800 yards-long), providing context-aware information on parking, traffic, street lighting, waste disposal and environmental quality.

Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, said, "For Nice to continue welcoming millions more visitors and companies while ensuring a high quality of life, using Internet intelligence is key." 

Efforts have been put in place to improve parking by using ‘Smart’ services to help both visitors and residents find available spaces quicker. Early results are suggesting that by doing this it will reduce traffic congestion by up to 30%, generating new revenue and reducing air pollution. Another project has seen the calibration of street lights to turn on when they sense pedestrians, traffic and changes to weather conditions such as fog. This is believed to have the potential to cut the cities electricity usage, in regards to lighting, by between 20 to 80 percent. Nice has also suggested the use of a location based service to show ‘comfort zones’ whereby visitors or citizens can find sunshine or shade, depending on their personal preference or their health needs.

According to Olivier Sanzec, other cities are being targeted for similar solutions but there is no specific plan in place for Nice to expand to other types of sensors, such as those that can track wind speed.

With Smart Cities providing visionary urban development with the integration of information and communication technology with Internet of Things technology to manage a city's assets. We see a wealth of opportunities for clients and consultants in local departments' information systems, the public sector, transportation, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks, waste management and other community services. Contact us to find out what smart project opportunities we have in the 120 countries we operate in.

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