Smart City is a common word but are we aware of what unique features put them at highly distinguishable place compared to normal cities. Flawless internet connectivity and interconnected devices alone do not define a smart city. Smart city infrastructure is developed to fight the problem of climate change, overcrowding and large population. The technology plays a major role in gathering a large amount of data from daily actions of inhabitants to monitor and analyses it for future issues.
The definition of Smart City is different for different persons, for engineers it’s a technologically connected city with sensing, gathering and manipulation of data for betterment, for authority a better standard of living, clean technology and finance boom. Let us study Barcelona, a Smart City and what attributes it possesses to be called as Smart.
Transportation System: It comprised of cleanest public transport with use of Hybrid buses. Electric cars and bike sharing also help in making the environment clean and improving parking system. Smart bus shelters comprised of solar panels which activate the screen to provide waiting time and seat of waiting traveler.
Smart parking system with sensors: To locate a free parking, drivers get real-time information on their smartphones and sensors installed in parking station, also helps officials to manage urban mobility.
Waste Management system: Trash bins are never overflowing or oversized. Drop-off containers are connected to underground the pipes, sucking up trash below the ground. The sensors installed, provide trash level status to the sanitation workers for taking action.
Smart Lightning: More than 1,100 LED’s are installed which continuously monitors noise, weather, traffic and wi-fi connectivity is also routed via street lights.
Efficient use of Renewable Energy: Barcelona is blessed with excellent climatic conditions but that is not the only reason to harness the solar energy, the renewable efficient technologies are the reason for its enormous energy potential. The city has installed 19,500 smart meters that monitor and optimize energy consumption in targeted areas of the city. To provide heating and air conditioning, the city use incineration of urban waste for heating and for cooling seawater is used which in turn produce less fossil energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Urban Mobility apps: For checking parking space, citizen use apps on their smartphones for giving them information to navigate city, to find parking space and other details.
Network connectivity: Barcelona has 500 km of optical fiber cable to provide seamless connectivity to its residents and emerged as a powerful backbone for Internet of Things. The optical fiber network provides 90% fiber to home coverage in Barcelona.
Role of Internet of things: Internet of things has mad a huge impact on the term smart city. To maximize the efficiency of smart parks with IoT, the sensors detect and collect information about control park irrigation and water levels in public fountains and determine which park needs how much irrigation. With help of IoT, system generates massive data used to improve city operations and citizens life by monitoring environment check. According to a published report, Barcelona has increased its parking revenue by $5o million per year, save $58 million on water and improved employment rate with 47,000 new jobs. With help of smart lightning city has saved $37 million annually.
By reading this case study you can now define what smart city really features and above all the continuous support and dedication of participatory citizen and transparent government has made this possible.