The deployment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for the creation of smart cities is gaining strong momentum in Europe, accentuated by the numerous pilot projects running at the regional, country and EU levels, according to research from Frost Sullivan. The vast majority of initiatives are co-funded by the European Union’s ICT Policy Support Programme and 7th Framework Programme, yet there is no clear business model for the uptake of smart cities.
Málaga, Spain. Credit: Fabi-DE/Wikimedia Commons
Projects are carried out in the form of collaborative network established between the research community, businesses, the public sector, citizens and the wider community, and they foster an open innovation approach, according to Frost Sullivan.
The smart city infrastructure projects revolve around energy and water efficiency, mobility, infrastructure and platforms for open cities, citizen involvement, and public administration services — the key building blocks being technologies such as smart metering, wireless sensor networks, open platforms, high-speed broadband and cloud computing.
Energy and water efficiency projects focus on the deployment of energy management systems in public buildings, water measurement and control, integration of renewable energies, and intelligent street lighting in public areas. Mobility projects include Intelligent Transport Systems (eco-navigation traffic signal control systems, parking guidance and information systems, efficient passing of intersections), charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, and traffic and travel Web-based services. Projects around infrastructure and platforms deliver open source, common development toolkits for the creation of various smart city services and applications, and foster high-speed Internet access (fiber, cellular wireless and satellite).
Finally, projects around the public administration domain, seek to explore multichannel, easily accessible eGovernment services.
For example, Smart City Málaga, serving as a testing ground for Enel’s smart grid development, offers integrated energy solutions that will help sustainable energy use and reduce the impact of CO2 emissions in line with EU’s 20-20-20 Plan through the installation of smart metering, photovoltaic panels on public buildings, use of micro solar and wind power generation systems. In addition, renewable energy storage systems were deployed, as well as a small fleet of eVehicles with charging infrastructure. A number of street lights have been equipped with energy-efficient technologies (e.g., LED and halogen lighting).
Advanced automation systems have been installed and are linked through a broadband powerline communications (PLC) network which connects all points of the electricity grid to the Network Control Center where the assets are monitored.
– see this article