How to optimize a city with smart solutions


Digitalization is on everyone's lips - especially in times of a pandemic. It is not only important in the private sector, but also for cities and municipalities. Digitization facilitates processes in the strategic development of the city, in supplying the citizens as well as in construction and civil protection. Here are some examples:

Civil protection

Some cities surrounded by mountains, valleys or rivers nearby are more likely to experience the consequences of climate change, including rising rivers or streams. What damage these can cause is known from the media. There are streetlights that already have smart functions and can, for example, send water level reports to the town hall and fire brigades and thus warn of floods before it is too late.

The same applies to sensors attached to slopes that can warn of glacier or landslides. Others might help for forecasts of heavy rains, storms with lots of wind or even fires.

Building planning

Digital representation enables strategic planning of cities. Buildings and their effects on their surroundings (e.g. light, wind) can be planned and visualized, especially in large cities. The buildings themselves and their supply can be controlled and operated with the help of digital panels.

Road construction and traffic flow

The cars of employees of the city, working outdoors to keep it clean and to do the gardening, could be equipped with cameras while driving through the streets and thus creating a digital map of the city, which shows exactly which road damage urgently needs to be repaired.

Water supply

Water supply and disposal are also important cornerstones of a city that can be optimized. With a targeted analysis of the water consumption per household and company, the supply and disposal can be controlled accordingly. Leaks in the drainage system and prompt repairs are just as apparent as the scarcity of the valuable resource water, because cities are usually not only dependent on one water source.

Digitization of administration

City administrations themselves are faced with the Herculean task of going digital. This not only includes the provision of laptops and access to employees, but also the creation of digital files, the conversion of entire departments and the recording of documents and plans as well as the possibility for citizens to report faults or defects via apps or via a city website, which must also be geared towards people with disabilities.

The field is wide. One of the thought leaders in the area of digitization is Elon Musk, because he knows like no other how to throw conventions overboard and rethink processes. More information is available here.

Our university is currently training students in the fields of Automation Technology and Digitalization (Electrical Engineering with a focus on Automation and Industrial Internet of Things). Please find further information about our courses here.

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