The future of

Urban Development

Cities and communities are the centre of human life. They are the places where all walks of life intersect, where innovation is born, where we mould future generations, and where culture thrives. Look deeper, and you will see the forces that come together to power these cities.

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The future of

Urban Development

Cities and communities are the centre of human life. They are the places where all walks of life intersect, where innovation is born, where we mould future generations, and where culture thrives. Look deeper, and you will see the forces that come together to power these cities.

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Smart Buildings

What is a smart city?

A Smart City uses intelligent technology to enhance quality of life in urban environments, for instance by minimising waste, optimising energy usage, or reducing congestion.

This is made possible by the Internet of Things, the networked connection between everyday objects, which means that nearly all elements of the urban landscape - including transit networks, energy grids, lighting systems and parking monitors – can wirelessly broadcast their state and activity in real-time.

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What is a smart city?

A Smart City uses intelligent technology to enhance quality of life in urban environments, for instance by minimising waste, optimising energy usage, or reducing congestion.

This is made possible by the Internet of Things, the networked connection between everyday objects, which means that nearly all elements of the urban landscape - including transit networks, energy grids, lighting systems and parking monitors – can wirelessly broadcast their state and activity in real-time.

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Internet of Things

Our product is made up of IoT technology which lies at the heart of a smart city, improving the lives of the community within it. An IoT-enabled smart city can reroute traffic around congestion in real time, automatically schedule repairs for failed infrastructure like street lighting or bridges, and intelligently manage energy use and pollution right across the built environment.

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Benefits of IoT in smart cities

With our IoT solutions, refuse collectors can make fewer journeys and use less fuel, and councils can cut the number of refuse trucks they run

IoT monitors installed around the city can sense and report back to central systems on local humidity, dust levels, harmful chemicals, pressure, and other factors — minute by minute.

IoT-enabled lights can cut the need for regular engineer check-ups by alerting authorities before they fail. IoT can also help reduce electricity costs, with lights able to intelligently detect when there is little or no traffic and turn themselves off or dim.

Health

As populations increase, city residents will become more exposed to pollution, toxic air, and illnesses. Right now, the COVID-19 situation has proven that disease transmission is faster and more deadly in urban environments. What’s more, those who are more disadvantaged than others will suffer the most. Cities with large homeless populations have higher disease transmission rates and can lead to chronic health problems. And of course, there are many psychological effects that are more likely to manifest in city residents rather than their rural counterparts.

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How can smart cities improve public health?

With improved infrastructure, more residents can exercise outside of parks and recreation areas, which frees up more space in parks for other leisure activities.

A living wall is one of the green architectural practices aimed to reduce the impacts of global warming and improve public health by reducing indoor temperature, noise, and air pollution.

Some cities are championing last-mile delivery systems. This allows large vehicles to deliver to depots located outside of town, that transfer their cargo to smaller and more practical vehicles that can take goods into city centres. This stops unnecessarily large and polluting vehicles from entering cities, which creates many benefits, from the health of residents to the wallet of the city government, as congestion is an expensive economic cost.

Mobility

With 55% of the world’s population living in urban areas, traffic congestion has become an increasingly dramatic problem for municipalities. The UN reports that this figure will skyrocket to 68% by 2050, and cities need to be ready with practical traffic solutions. Smart Cities are offering long-term visions for managing traffic, both by optimising transportation logistics and reducing congestion. 

Smart Parking solutions have a major role to play in the smart city eco structure, bringing about improvements in convenience, congestion, urban mobility, lower costs, and the delivery of practical information and intelligence. By analysing parking data, city operators can optimise efficiencies for a raft of smart city services such as public Wi-Fi, surveillance, lighting, air quality, digital displays and more.

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How is technology solving challenges for urban mobility?

Imagine your car is connected to a parking application that can show you available parking spots near your destination together with a scheme that shows you the best way to park. You can also select if you want the cheapest or the closest place, for example, and use the application to reserve a parking spot on the go. Companies like VW and T-Mobile are investing in these types of IoT solutions for smart cities and are running pilot projects in cities around the globe.

In some cities, all the traffic lights are connected to sensors that control the number of cars stopped at each light and synchronise the light cycles to guarantee the best traffic flow. Just by doing this, cities are capable of greatly increasing the flow of traffic.

Some applications allow drivers to connect and share real-time information about traffic jams, accidents, etc. By doing so, the application can calculate and suggest alternative routes for drivers, taking them off the main roads and allowing them to arrive at their destinations in the shortest time possible.

​Cameras on buildings together with city-operated cameras can help cities manage resources and become safer. Imagine a world where all those cameras are connected and able to detect atypical occurrences. Or let’s imagine we live in a big city like London, where you have tens of thousands of cars and it’s almost impossible to inspect all of them. Cameras that are used to control speed could also control payment of taxes, identifying which cars aren’t up-to-date and fining them accordingly.​

Buildings

The autonomous smart building is the secret ingredient for building a smart city. Smart building automation systems such as our very own ResiCentral are the strategic chess pieces that form the foundation of our truly smart cities.

The benefits of Building Automation include increased energy efficiency, reduced operating costs, and improved occupant comfort as a result of a centralized network and carefully aligned controls. Our ResiCentral automation system could, for example, be programmed to turn up the air conditioning and increase ventilation in a specific conference room when it registers that someone has turned on the conference room’s lights. It even works in conjunction with AI and IoT technologies, “learning,” for instance, that this conference room is used from 10:00 -11:00 a.m. every Tuesday and then adjusting its climate settings several minutes in advance.

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Three smart building trends to look out for in 2021

One of the primary reasons for old buildings overconsuming energy is manual HVAC systems. These HVAC systems have no way to toggle their settings based on the building occupancy. So, it doesn’t matter if the building is completely empty; if the operator sets the HVAC to maximum settings in the morning, it will continue to run on full throttle until it’s manually changed. Smart buildings have helped change that with occupancy based HVAC control. Smart sensors communicate with the HVAC controller module to provide real-time occupancy data. The HVAC controller then changes the HVAC settings, automatically, in real-time, and in accordance with the received occupancy data.

Smart HVAC control also makes it possible to monitor and improve air quality. Intelligent sensors can detect humidity and heat in the indoor climate, along with the presence of certain gases (Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon dioxide), which enables the HVAC controller to monitor the quality of air without any need for manual intervention. For example, if a sensor detects a lot of heat coming out from the conference room (or excess of CO2), it can quickly increase the air flow into that particular room.

Traditionally, whenever you talked about converting an old building into a smart one, you’d envision a huge hardware overhaul, to go with a lot of spending. In the last few years, this has changed considerably. To support swift smart building conversion, without any significant operational disruption, smart building systems have become more software-centric. Modern solutions don’t require you to buy a lot of new hardware; in fact, they integrate with your existing gadgets and machines, programming and reconfiguring a few of them. The central control system is also often a cloud-based interface which makes it easier to monitor and control your building from anywhere.

Localised energy sources

Cities and communities play a central role in the green transition. Cities consume over two-thirds Of the world's energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. Smart energy solutions in cities and communities are therefore essential to decarbonising our economies.

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How can smart cities drive energy efficiencies?

A smart grid is a way of integrating digital technology into the traditional electrical grid. They are equipped with sensors that gather and transmit data about energy supply and use it to improve efficiency, minimise environmental impact, and reduce overall costs. In other words, they contribute to more effective appliance management and control.

Intelligent lighting allows for more accurate electricity consumption measurement for every streetlight, so that cities only pay for the power they actually use. The benefits of the smart lighting infrastructure might go beyond improved illumination and energy saving. Different sensor types are already being integrated into connected street lighting to control air quality, noise and temperature for enhanced environmental monitoring purposes.

AMI contributes to the end users’ awareness of their energy consumption encouraging them manage it better. Furthermore, smart metering allows utility companies to deliver the amount of energy equal to the demand in a particular region. Thus, such systems can provide considerable operational, customer service, and financial benefits.

Whats
next for

Smart Cities?

Smart cities are just beginning to be recognised for their countless benefits and are the investment of the future to maximise efficiency, sustainability and improve life conditions for citizens inhabiting them. As the world of inter-connectivity expands by the day, there is no choice but to embrace it and try to get ahead of the curve to ensure benefits seen worldwide can be seen in your local communities as well. From smartphones to smart cities, the world is getting smarter, and its inhabitants need to keep up.

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