Cities are in constant movement, whether it is people going to work, children heading to school or companies serving their customers' needs. But they are not the only ones that are always moving; the technologies developed to serve them do not stop evolving.
Cities are increasingly growing and demanding new urban and technological solutions to continue to operate at maximum efficiency. Public lighting is an example of that. Many technologies were implemented over time, from lamps fuelled by animal oil to incandescent bulbs, reaching the current LED bulbs with smart sensors. The sensors capture information from the environment to better manage the intensity of light emitted.
Technology is transforming the way of engaging with the urban space around the globe. Digital Cities have been developed and will ensure sustainability in all aspects with quality of life.
What is the Digital City?
The expression Smart City, or Digital City, has different interpretations around the world. The European Union defines it as: a place in which traditional grids and services become more efficient through the use of digital technology and telecommunications for the benefit of its residents and businesses.
The degree of technology used in each city is determined by the demands of its population. As each place has its own specific infrastructure needs, a project can never be copied from one city to the next. They are customised to integrated the desires of the community beyond the bases, technological or not, already in place in the city to add maximum value to society.
The expression Digital City goes way beyond a conceptual matter, since the current challenges extrapolate geographical barriers. The growth in global population means urban spaces are becoming more populous; hence it is fundamental to think about how they can support this increasing number of inhabitants and their needs.
The solution for many of these problems touches on the transformation of the current systems. It is precisely this search for greater efficiency and integration of its systems and services that allow cities to become smarter. This demands for innovative solutions is more than adopting digital solutions; it is having sustainable attitudes today so that the future is better.
What energy powers the Digital City?
With its roots in the sustainable use of natural resources, renewable energies have a leading role in the revolution of cities.
The main sources of power are the sun and the wind. Solar panels and wind turbines must be widely used and connected to the electrical grid so that the excess energy generated can also be used elsewhere.
Some cities already enjoy an infrastructure for the generation of solar power that complements its electricity supply, such as Tokyo, Los Angeles and Paris. Meanwhile, in Copenhagen 49% of the energy used is generated from renewable sources and the city is also studying the implementation of lighting sensors, public Wi-Fi and electric charging stations.
Human power is also certainly among those used. The expansion of the cycle path system turns bicycles into one of the main means of transportation, as well as electric vehicles.
The Circular Economy revolution
For cities to develop into Digital Cities it is necessary that the economy itself adapts to these changes.
The economy must move from a linear model to a digital and circular model.
This new economic model has as its main task to face massive environmental challenges, such as the shortage of resources, global warming and waste management.
This change represents a real opportunity for the development of sustainable innovations with direct and tangible benefits to the environment.
Adopting the Circular Economy concept, the city improves the use of its resources and targets zero waste. Objects that cannot have their lifespan extended through fixes, updates or reuse will be recycled and transformed.
Renewable energy sources eliminate pollution and improve residents' quality of life. Assets such as cars, buildings and machinery work at their full capacity all the time, optimising their benefits. To mediate all these actions, digital technology is the facilitator that allows us to act collaboratively, transforming the ownership of assets into services as well as controlling the actions inside and outside the home, adapting with safety to the new demands and favouring economic growth.
Public lighting is an important step in this direction, transforming into a true multiservice platform, integrated to pollution, traffic and security monitoring sensors for society.
Digital City: welcome to the future
Despite having a long way ahead, in the midst of the movement of cities, technological advances are already seen, bringing benefits never before imagined by mankind.
It is time to make room for the future, a new era that is more sustainable, productive and connected.
Welcome to the Digital City.
Learn more about our initiatives to transform your city into a real Digital City here.