Public safety may be a primary reason for street lighting initiatives, but a number of cities are finding that advanced lighting technologies can lead to very significant energy savings.
A new report from the U.S. Department of Energy's Berkeley Lab says super-efficient air conditioners can provide a significant boost for regions dealing with increasingly high energy demand. The study found that air conditioning efficiency can be improved as much as 20 to 40%.
Microsoft knew the buildings on its 500-acre campus were incredibly energy-inefficient, but its engineers didn't care for the $60 million-plus estimate for a traditional fix or the disruption it would cause. So with dedication, the help of a few vendors and off-the-shelf Microsoft software, a company engineering team came up with a solution that is now saving millions in energy costs.
Vancouver, B.C. city staff has laid out a $30 million smart cities plan for the city council that includes expanding the city's open data program, providing access to city services through digital platforms and providing an 'incubator' for digital businesses in the community.
Cologne, Germany, and IBM recently completed a smart traffic pilot that yielded surprisingly accurate predictions of traffic flow and volume.
IBM and its partner Element Blue have launched a custom water management platform in the South African city of Tshwana where they're recruiting citizens to help evaluate and report on the status of water distribution.
Hitachi has developed a robot car equipped with sensors and GIS, initially for elderly and disabled drivers. But the self-driving car may be delivering your pizza one of these days.
The mayors of Paris and San Francisco have signed a memorandum of understanding that recognizes the two cities' commitment to collaborating closely on smart cities and the digital economy. The two cities will work together on issues ranging from energy and traffic to waste and pollution.
David Bartlett, VP of Smarter Buildings for IBM, is very clear on several points. Among them: One of the best ways to build smarter cities is to start with smarter buildings. But he says that's something we're not doing very well – yet.
It's unlikely that many small rural villages get a lot of visitors from countries as diverse as Korea and the U.S., but little Feldheim, Germany does. And the visitors aren't coming as tourists. They want to find out how the village (population: 125) became Germany's first and so far only village that can say it's entirely energy self-sufficient.