Smart lighting for smart city infrastructure
Digital technologies are already improving city services. Almost one-third of respondents (31%) say that digital technology has improved transportation in the past three years, while another 25% believe that it will improve transportation in the near future. Of course, the impact of digital technology doesn’t begin and end with transportation. Smart sensors, smart lighting, data analytics systems, citizen-driven mobile apps, and other IoT technologies facilitate the real-time monitoring of smart city infrastructure, including power and water networks.
Cities such as Jakarta, Indonesia, are using these technologies, along with crowdsourced apps, to improve the efficiency of city assets. The can address vulnerabilities before they become problematic and recover more quickly from floods and other emergencies.
Close to half of businesses (41%) are likely to report problems with urban infrastructure and services. And while less than a third of citizens (32%) currently provide feedback, over half say that they would like to do so. Radical improvements in street lighting management in Buenos Aires, Argentina, demonstrate the effectiveness of connected, smart city infrastructure and citizen engagement. Over 90,000 LED light points were installed and connected with the Philips CityTouch remote lighting management system. Philips partnered with SAP to integrate CityTouch into the SAP HANA platform, giving street lighting managers a 360-degree view of lighting system operations across the city. With this data-rich, integrated digital infrastructure, authorities have increased responsiveness to street lighting outages from 1% to 90%, creating much safer conditions for both vehicles and pedestrians.
The private sector has an important role to play in advancing smart city solutions. But there are obstacles: almost a third (32%) complain that cities treat companies as suppliers or service providers rather than as strategic partners.
Minerva Tantoco, former CTO of New York City, says that current procurement practices must become less problematic. “[Businesses] very much want to partner with us. But it’s a very onerous process to sell technology [to government].” Tantoco also believes that running pilots before embarking on large-scale public-private partnerships can lower the risk for city governments.
A partnership between Philips Lighting and the government of Aruba promises to transform the island’s lighting infrastructure by 2020. Energy-efficient LED lighting retrofits support Aruba’s Smart Island Strategy for sustainability. Innovative financing eliminates up-front capital investments and allows Aruba to pay for the project with energysavings from the LED lighting conversions over a five-year period.