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.
Examples and case studies
Cologne, Germany, and IBM recently completed a smart traffic pilot that yielded surprisingly accurate predictions of traffic flow and volume.
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.
It may seem strange that the United Arab Emirates, which boasts the world's seventh largest oil and natural gas reserves, is pushing ahead with a very expensive experiment in renewable energy and urban sustainability.
You can often learn as much from smart cities projects that stumble as you can from those that are a huge success. Here are 12 leading project pitfalls — and what you can do to avoid making the same mistakes.
Citizen mobility is one of the key issues in a city like Pune. The city relies solely on buses for public transportation, but the average number of buses per lakh population is only 37! Additionally, buses in Pune have issues with availability (about 25 per cent fleet off-road most of the time) and reliability (about 84 per cent routes have a waiting time of more than 20 minutes). As a result, the public transport trip share is a mere 18 per cent.
From improving traffic flow to managing water from flash floods, Seattle is using technology to make a difference. Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller will share what Seattle has learned at Smart Cities Week. Get a preview here.
Can you imagine asking a street light about the weather or traffic? New York residents can and they’re getting useful answers in return thanks to a demonstration project with GE that’s bringing smart cities technology to life. And you could be doing this in your own city.
As a group, they’ve had their driver’s licenses for the shortest period of time, but they don’t want to live in places where they have to use them. Transit and city planners should take careful note of a new study of Boston’s next-generation workforce.
Just one week into a five-week test, London is thinking about stepping on the gas on a program to reclaim energy from subway brakes. See how much energy the subway system saved and how the results could make public transportation cleaner, greener and cheaper.