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The Pragmatic Approach to Smart Cities Thinking

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers recently announced that they are getting in on the Smart Cities act, launching their own Smart Cities initiative, whereby cities can apply for consideration to receive strategic and practical advice from IEEE experts – as well as education and training to help them address the huge demands on land, resources and services associated with expanding urban living environments.

City Growth

As their press release coverage suggests, with city populations expected to swell to nearly double their existing size by 2050, successful sustainable smart cities require careful planning.

In most cities, land is at a premium and it simply isn’t viable to just keep extending the boundaries of a city. So as per the basic premise of any strategic plan, before we look that the “Where do we want to be?” phase, it is critical to understand first “Where are we now?” reality of the situation we face today and that means collecting the necessary data and transforming it into meaningful business intelligence that can inform us about the major pain points we are feeling now.

Without this insight, it becomes almost impossible to understand and plan the steps necessary to attain any future vision.

By contrast, collating and putting this data to productive use can inform predictive models and allow all manner of different scenarios to be played out, and reveal a whole plethora of unforeseen challenges and surprises that otherwise would have been completely missed and led to an incomplete picture – and therefore a less credible or sustainable strategy.

However, we can’t just plan for the 2050 scenarios and forget about the challenges we face today.

And that is where it is vital that we use the systems we have today in the most pragmatic way to alleviate congestion, improve road safety and journey time predictability and minimise the environmental impact of transport on our cities now, else the cities may not survive until 2050.

In previous blogs, we broke this down to an easy to follow eight-point step by step approach to making your city smarter, including the need for political as well as citizen buy-in.

At Intertraffic Amsterdam, this pragmatic cost effective focus was a key theme of our stand presence and remarkably, it seemed this message was unique among the exhibitors.

And it lead to us receiving a 49% increase in enquiries at the four day show, with conversations around our Insight data management platform, our smart parking solution and our wireless vehicle and bicycle detection solutions taking centre stage.

If you’d like to understand more about our approach to smart cities, please visit our interactive Smart Cityscape and request an information pack.

Author: |Date Published: May 2014


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