HomeChannelsFundamentalsFrom Korea to Kansas City, 5 smart city case studies

From Korea to Kansas City, 5 smart city case studies

The United Nations predicts that, based on an ongoing wave of global urbanization, 70% of the world’s population will live and work in urban areas by 2050. As such, smart city technologies, from public Wi-Fi to facilitate access to city services to smart parking application designed to combat congestion and pollution, are gaining traction around the world. Here we take a look at five smart city projects that are taking shape.

Kansas City

Kansas City has partnered with Cisco, Sprint and ThinkBig on a smart city program, which aims to make the city the most connected city in the world and attract the technology, innovation and entrepreneurial community. The initiative’s goals include enhanced internet availability, energy savings, new revenue streams, and improved connectivity with citizens, including efforts to bridge the “digital divide”. In the process, the connected city will also produce vast amounts of data, which will serve as a “living lab” for Cisco, Think Big Partners and other entrepreneurs.

The city has adopted a public-private partnership approach, whereby Kansas City will invest $3.8 million over the next 10 years, an investment which Cisco, Sprint, ThinkBig and their partners will match with nearly $12 million. Sprint is investing around $7 million and Cisco around $5 million, according to Startland News.

As part of the initiative, free outdoor wifi will be deployed in more than 50 square blocks in downtown Kansas City. Sprint will roll out and manage the wifi network in partnership with Cisco. light sensory network of 125 smart streetlights responsive to citizen activity will also be installed along the newly launched 2.2-mile downtown streetcar line. Sensity sensors and integrated LED street lighting installed by Cisco will be able to capture data. Kansas City expects the light sensory network to save money and energy and reduce light pollution while the KC Streetcar Authority is interested in using the sensors to ensure safe, high quality rides.

Busan, Korea

In Busan, city leaders wanted to leverage an existing 10 GB high-speed Internet infrastructure connecting public institutions including government offices and schools to create job opportunities and economic sustainability.

Using a cloud computing platform-as-a-service, the city connected the Busan Metropolitan Government, five local universities and the Busan Mobile Application Center, which provides a setting for app development including workspace, offices, test equipment, APIs for public data and other tools.

Cisco reports the new facility has fostered a robust app development community. “Eventually the cloud platform is intended to deliver services to citizens through kiosks, citywide digital interactive displays, home-based access and mobile access.

Nice, France

Because smart cities incorporate such a wide variety of technologies, unified management solutions need to be in place. That was the goal of a smart city project in Nice designed to “test and validate an IP-enabled technology architecture and economic model, as well as to determine the social benefits of IoE. The project is based on a shared platform designed to be more flexible, granular, and scalable than early attempts at developing urban operating systems.”

City services covered in the pilot are smart circulation, smart lighting, smart waste management and smart environmental monitoring. The results can be used to help other cities accelerate smart city projects.

“As these solutions are implemented, Cisco and the city of Nice are assessing how captured data can be treated to make information context-specific and useful across different services,” according to a report. “For instance, can data captured by sensors for traffic patterns serve purposes beyond smart parking? How can this information also help optimize waste collection and environmental monitoring? The implications of data ‘crossfertilization’ and cross-collaboration go beyond technological feasibility because they also impact the decisions of city managers, cross-departmental collaboration, and back-office operations.

Yinchuan, China

The city of Yinchuan, in China, is known to be the most advanced city in the Asian nation in terms of the development and implementation of smart city initiatives.

In February 2014, ZTEsoft, the software subsidiary of Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer ZTE, signed an agreement with the Yinchuan government to invest $500 million on smart city initiatives. In December 2014, ZTEsoft also inked a contract with the local government and launched its smart city project in September 2015. Under the terms of the contract, 13 subsystems will be implemented during the course of three years featuring a unified top design, scientific architecture, innovative business model, an operation and maintenance (O&M) platform and rich application functionality.

The subsystems stipulated in the agreement are: smart transportation, smart surveillance, smart community, environmental protection, smart all-in-one card, smart tourism, enterprise cloud, smart government, big data analytics center, one cloud, operation center, GIS & 3D map and elastic network.

One of the key initiatives of the collaboration between the government of Yinchuan and the vendor is in the E-Government field. ZTE’s Smart E-Government solution for Yinchuan consists of three phases: process review and one-stop approval to provide reform benefits; data sharing and online approval to provide information benefits; and data collection, mining and analysis and virtual approval to provide big data benefits.

Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

Milton Keynes was founded as a “new town” in 1967. In less than 50 years, it has grown to a population of more than 250,000, and between 1981 and 2013 its population grew by 103%, according to City Metric. The rapid influx of people has put pressure on the city’s infrastructure, and forced its leaders to look for ways to create sustainable growth and meet carbon reduction targets. The solution is to transform Milton Keynes into a smart city.

MK: Smart is Milton Keynes’ 16 million pound multifaceted smart city initiative designed to meet environmental regulation and increase the standard of living for the city’s growing population by taking IoT-based approaches in areas including transportation, energy and water management.

Data is an integral part of any smart city or IoT deployment. MK: Smart’s Data Hub supports the collection, integration and application of big data from sources around the city.

Cloud Enabled Mobility (CEM) connects citizens with travel information and other cloud-based services. For instance, Milton Keynes introduced a smart parking trial (300 SmartEye sensors) so car park users don’t have to return to their vehicle to display their ticket. They can also download an app which provides parking availability in real-time. MK: Smart is currently working on MotionMap, for real-time data on the movements of vehicles and people across the city.

The director of strategy for the Milton Keynes Council, will be on hand for the upcoming Enterprise IoT Summit to dive into how the city has approached digital transformation in a session titled “Analyzing MK:Smart – The U.K.’s first city to introduce a citywide IoT and data innovation network.”


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