The city of Cologne, on the bank of the river Rhine, has designated a downtown street as a “Climate Street”, and it is expected to act as a living lab which will test climate-friendly technologies and make the flow of traffic more efficient. This initiative is run by the city together with the electricity company RheinEnergie.
In several countries, such as Canada, a digital revolution like the one that created smart cities, is affecting farms. Technology is starting to transform farms and farming. Not only the vast, industrial-scale factory farms, but also small and organic farms. As in the case of smart cities, this technology provides significant benefits, but also creates significant challenges.
A funding of €15 million from the EC’s Horizon 2020 programme along with €17 million from the Estonian Government was obtained for Smart City Research in Helsinki and Tallinn. This will enable R&D teams to test and implement smart city strategies with the eventual goal of creating cross-border smart city initiatives along the EU.
The development of Smart Cities around the world comes with several daunting challenges, one of which is the efficient maintenance of the city’s underlying systems of interconnected networks. However, enterprise networks can offer a useful parallel.
While a lot of buzz in smart cities is about the impressive, cutting-edge technology, the crucial component which makes them smart should be the emphasis on their citizens. The technology should be invisible, seamlessly embedded in the environment to serve real human needs. If the sole focus of a smart city is the technology, then the project is doomed to fail.
Universities around the world, with the US leading the way, are taking notice of smart city developments and applying many of the same solutions. University campuses are ideal for this, as, in effect, they are mini metropolises of their own, with their own shops, roads, transport, residences, banks, and tens of thousands of visitors every day.
The rapid growth of cities around the world poses a variety of challenges. One of these is the additional space needed to store cars. Improved parking technologies, such as robotic parking, can provide an answer. Such solutions are already being implemented.