The Smartest Cities: Sensors In Municipal Life

How can sensors make cities smarter? 

A group in the U.K. known as the Flood Network provides one example. The group installs sensors in streams, river, and even ditches to send flood warnings to local residents, according to Sourceable. 

Another example in the U.K. is the city of Bristol, a leader the smart city revolution. 

“Small sensors, including the smart phones and GPS devices of willing participants, will supply three new fast networks in the center of Bristol, with information about many aspects of city life, including energy, air quality, and traffic flows. A city operating system will dynamically host this machine-to-machine communication, allowing the development of a wide range of applications.,” according to Bristol Is Open, a joint venture between the University of Bristol and Bristol City Council. 

Experts say there is huge potential to solve major water problems when smart city planners collaborate with water service professionals. 

“As the smart city movement progresses, water utilities must play a more collaborative role with cities and municipalities on smart initiatives. The water sector captures information on public issues such as water quality, infrastructure maintenance and urbanization projects that can be shared within a city or municipality to better the lives of citizens and meet energy goals,” consulting firm Black & Veatch wrote in the latest edition of its annual water industry survey, released this month. 

“Collaboration with public leadership can help utilities align smart city efforts with their strategic goals, such as increased customer engagement and positive public visibility,” the analysis said. 

Understanding customer water use is one major benefit of smart water management tools. 

“According to survey data, 74 percent of water utilities prioritize water consumption profiling as the intended use for AMI (advanced metering infrastructure). Monthly meter reading and daily meter reading were ranked second and third, respectively, reflecting the core capabilities of AMI,” the report said. 

Yet the power of smart innovations goes far beyond that. Data from smart technology can help municipalities solve water quality questions, reduce energy costs, and predict asset failure, the report said. 

“A new generation of innovative analytics tools coupled with the development of smart integrated infrastructure offers plant operators and management a new opportunity to meet those needs and more easily transform raw data into actionable intelligence,” the report 

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