Cisco to ‘make sci-fi real’ as partner in $7.5bn Las Vegas smart city project
Work is set to start on a new $7.5 billion smart city development in the Las Vegas Valley, which seeks to use advanced connectivity, automation, and analytics technologies to animate the site during both its initial six-year construction and its final operation as an “insular mini city”.
US networking company Cisco, the chief technology partner in the project, said the new project will bring together technology solutions that “once seemed like pure science fiction”.
The project, called Bleutech Park Las Vegas, is sponsored by Delaware-based Bleutech Park Properties, a real-estate investment trust supported by institutional and private equity investors. Cisco has been drafted in to handle the technological aspects of the project’s design and build. Construction firm Martin-Harris Construction has been contracted for the physical design and build.
The new site will be home to workforce housing, offices, retail space, luxury residential properties, hotels, and entertainment facilities. So-called ‘workforce housing’ refers to affordable housing for professionals in key jobs, including nurses, police officers, teachers, and firemen.
The site will make general use of internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality, drones, and robotics, according to its developers.
New designs reveal it will make use variously of localised solar, wind, water, and kinetic energy supplies, and operate indepedently of the local electricity grid. All buildings will have zero net energy consumption. Photovoltaic glass will be standard in all structures, so entire building exteriors operate as solar panels.
Flooring systems will capture and reuse the energy of human movement throughout the park including in common areas and parking structures. Resources for heating, cooling, lighting and electricity will be harvested on-site. Meanwhile, buildings will be connected to a network of “super trees”, affording a 95 per cent reduction in imported water and improved biodiversity.
Mike Grigsby, with Cisco’s smart and connected communities group, said the project will deliver a “one-of-a-kind experience” for guests and visitors, and “push the envelope of innovation and bring together technology solutions that once seemed like pure science fiction”.
He said: “The convergence of IoT and smart cities in a project like this challenges the way we define both of those solutions. It opens our thinking to what is truly possible and reveals just how expansive the connected communities concept really is.”
Automation will be high on the agenda for the build phase. Unmanned aerial systems will be used to access “hard-to-reach or unsafe places”, it said. Robotics will help with on-site security, during construction and after opening. The press release said: “These new technologies could create close to a super workforce of the future.”
Bertrand Dano, chief technology and information officer at Bleutech Park Properties, commented: “The rise of digitization and robotics in construction will increase productivity and efficiency. Wearable technology will increase workplace safety, particularly in heavy lifting and repetition. We believe in the future of robotics and their ability to improve jobsite safety and employee’s health.”
The project will create 25,000 jobs, claimed Bleutech Park Properties.
The press release states: “Smart buildings equipped with new, self-healing, energy-generating, and breathable materials will move Las Vegas forward in ways never before contemplated or experienced in one place. With the use of unmanned aerial systems and AI, the construction site will become a living, breathing blueprint. Integration will become seamless with technology, more efficient, effective and safer.”