How the power of IoT makes smart cities a reality
My list

From an energy point of view, cities are major consumers of resources. They are extremely good at optimizing consumption per capita due to their high population density. However, this will not be enough to make decarbonization work. In a world more and more powered by renewables, cities’ infrastructure must become smart and interconnected; not only to further decrease energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions, but also to provide more flexibility to the electricity grid. What is more, smart technology has the potential to make cities more livable, resilient and secure.

Connecting information islands

For a long time, different infrastructure sectors have been managed separately. Even in the age of ICT, data has been collected and stored in silos. Smart cities now seek to combine the data from different sectors and to make it accessible in the cloud, thus creating ecosystems that will bring digitalization in cities to the next level and allowing new ways of making use of the data.

How so? One of the most impressive examples to date is the Expo 2020 Dubai project. In an area of 4.38 square kilometers, data from more than 130 buildings and over 200’000 data points are being collected by a cloud-based IoT operating system. The information it generates is used for integrated site management, including energy, security, waste management, irrigation as well as indoor and outdoor air quality and eMobility charging. This allows holistic control of all aspects of the infrastructure.

PIC 1

Smart grids to reduce peaks in demand

In the smart city of the future, buildings will become an active part of the energy system. This is only possible when conventional power grids are combined with data networks, or, in other words, when they become smart. This has been applied, for example, in a pilot project by Canadian power utility together with Siemens, which explored the potential of the smart use of electric power infrastructures in the residential sector. In the project, NB Power successfully shifted heating load peaks by managing smart thermostats and water heaters.

The project demonstrates how existing, residential heat infrastructure can be integrated into a smart grid – and that it can play an active role in providing more flexibility to the grid, which will be a prerequisite for the transition into a greener future.

When buildings and cars talk about electricity

The electrification of mobility not only is considered as a key to decarbonization, it also promises to mitigate two other major issues of big cities: noise and air pollution.

Already, the first large-scale electromobility projects have been successfully implemented. The metropolis of Shenzhen, China for example pulled off in electrifying its 16,000-strong bus fleet. As other cities and megacities are already following or will follow suit, depots with overnight-charging infrastructure for some hundreds of buses or commercial vehicles will become a common feature of future cities, not to mention the rising number of privately owned electric cars.

This trend goes with a rising demand for electricity, putting additional strain on the grid. With smart grids and smart charging technology, however, this alleged downside can be turned into an advantage: Already today, smart charging enables to manage the optimal time for charging electric vehicles. This allows, for example, to make best use of peak production of PV plants at noon.

PIC 2

Nevertheless, to make eMobility work, simply putting charging points in place will not be sufficient. The whole energy supply and demand will need to be considered, encompassing renewable generation, storage integration, and charging potential on location. Bus depots, for example, will best be designed as intelligent microgrids, thus becoming smart infrastructures.

Private, corporate, and public charging stations for electric cars will have to become smart too, since they will have to communicate with each other as well as with different backend systems, e.g. building management systems. When chargers talk to buildings – and thereby considering the energy demand of the buildings and the EVs –, it is possible to avoid overloading the infrastructure and prevent excessive peak-pricing charges, for example.

Cases such as Expo 2020 Dubai, NB Power’s smart grid project and various eMobility projects around the globe demonstrate how, thanks to smart technology, different infrastructure sectors are converging into digital ecosystems. This process is not an end in itself. It contributes to solving some of the most pressing challenges of today.

Related content
Tomorrow.Podcast 1x01: Are our cities more resilient than ever?
Tomorrow.Podcast 1x01: Are our cities more resilient than ever?
Smart AMB: can data lead us to deliver better urban services?
Smart AMB: can data lead us to deliver better urban services?
A New Space For Mayors. Bloomberg to Fund Harvard Center for Cities
A New Space For Mayors. Bloomberg to Fund Harvard Center for Cities
Barcelona Provincial Council: this is how a smart region works
Barcelona Provincial Council: this is how a smart region works
PODCAST 1x01 - Are our cities more resilient than ever?
PODCAST 1x01 - Are our cities more resilient than ever?
Barcelona’s strategy to drive the 2030 Agenda in the city
Barcelona’s strategy to drive the 2030 Agenda in the city
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole: cities become smarter by forming smart regions
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole: cities become smarter by forming smart regions
Pablo Soto, regional representative of Transparency and Participation in Madrid: “Technology should be used to enhance institutions”
Pablo Soto, regional representative of Transparency and Participation in Madrid: “Technology should be used to enhance institutions”
Metropolitan governance: extending municipal governments as a response to new urban challenges
Metropolitan governance: extending municipal governments as a response to new urban challenges
How to go from being a town to a Smart Town
How to go from being a town to a Smart Town
The G20 creates the Global Smart Cities Alliance to establish universal norms and guidelines for the implementation of technology
The G20 creates the Global Smart Cities Alliance to establish universal norms and guidelines for the implementation of technology
Paul Duan, co-founder and President of Bayes Impact: “We should trust in the power of the multitude”
Paul Duan, co-founder and President of Bayes Impact: “We should trust in the power of the multitude”
Open government and citizen participation: a journey through history - Infographic
Open government and citizen participation: a journey through history - Infographic
Pontus Westerberg, UN-Habitat:
Pontus Westerberg, UN-Habitat: "People need to be allowed to offer their own solutions to the problems in the places in which they live"
How and why do cities die?
How and why do cities die?
Digital natives, technological illiterates?
Digital natives, technological illiterates?
New COVID-19 outbreaks: this is what the hammer and the dance will be like
New COVID-19 outbreaks: this is what the hammer and the dance will be like
Citizens policing our streets: is it lawful to report the inappropriate use of cities?
Citizens policing our streets: is it lawful to report the inappropriate use of cities?
Smart cities that failed along the way
Smart cities that failed along the way
Can technology foster democracy?
Can technology foster democracy?
Welcome to the Smart City Live!
Welcome to the Smart City Live!
What makes a city attractive to talent?
What makes a city attractive to talent?
Imec: Open digital twin framework
Imec: Open digital twin framework
x-tention: Towards post covid-19 smart tourism
x-tention: Towards post covid-19 smart tourism
Arca: Wave control for better health
Arca: Wave control for better health
Smart Buildings: Enabling reliability and resilience for a better future
Smart Buildings: Enabling reliability and resilience for a better future
DMAP: Unlocking the power of transportation analytics
DMAP: Unlocking the power of transportation analytics
These were the urban utopias that preceded us - Infographic
These were the urban utopias that preceded us - Infographic
Medellín: data and infrastructures in contrast to its troubled past
Medellín: data and infrastructures in contrast to its troubled past
2030 Agenda and Urban Agenda for Catalonia: from Strategy into Practice
Live
2030 Agenda and Urban Agenda for Catalonia: from Strategy into Practice
How smart cities are contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
How smart cities are contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
From Crisis to Opportunity: Transforming European Cities in the COVID Era
Live
From Crisis to Opportunity: Transforming European Cities in the COVID Era
Cities as Testbeds for Innovation
Cities as Testbeds for Innovation
Smart Cities Germany – an emerging market for urban technologies providers
Smart Cities Germany – an emerging market for urban technologies providers
CIOs as linking pins: bridging IT and European digital policy for smart cities
Live
CIOs as linking pins: bridging IT and European digital policy for smart cities
Barcelona Smart Region: innovative projects to improve connectivity and sustainability
Barcelona Smart Region: innovative projects to improve connectivity and sustainability
Barcelona Smart Region: providing smart services for citizens
Barcelona Smart Region: providing smart services for citizens
Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole: The New Smart Place
Live
Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole: The New Smart Place
City-states never disappeared: Hamburg, Hong Kong, Singapore
City-states never disappeared: Hamburg, Hong Kong, Singapore
G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance – Launching the Policy Roadmap
G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance – Launching the Policy Roadmap
Reinventing Cities with Technology after COVID-19 – Unpacking ideas from Japan
Reinventing Cities with Technology after COVID-19 – Unpacking ideas from Japan
AdvanGrid: Staying ahead in the energy transition
AdvanGrid: Staying ahead in the energy transition
Neareo: Powering QR codes
Neareo: Powering QR codes
People-focused Smart Cities: Urban Digital Transformation Working for the Benefit of All
People-focused Smart Cities: Urban Digital Transformation Working for the Benefit of All
Strengthening Metropolitan Governance
Strengthening Metropolitan Governance
Economic and social recovery leaving no one behind
Economic and social recovery leaving no one behind
Adopting Technologies Responsibly: a Global Policy Roadmap for Ethical Smart Cities
Adopting Technologies Responsibly: a Global Policy Roadmap for Ethical Smart Cities
Smart Villages & Territories
Smart Villages & Territories
The Global Voice of Cities
The Global Voice of Cities
Urban Water Management: Making every drop count
Urban Water Management: Making every drop count
Recommended profiles for you
Remember to activate your profile to network!
Activate profile
francisca rojas
francisca rojas
Inter-American Development Bank
Housing and Urban Development Specialist
Jurij Dolžan
Jurij Dolžan
MInistry for public administration
Policy advisor
BD
Birgül Danyıldız
IMM
Project coordinator
Tony Carmichael
Tony Carmichael
NexGenUrbanism
Director
JD
John Davies
GDS
Head of Subnational Government
Nolan O'Connor
Nolan O'Connor
SmartCitiesWorld
Chief Marketing Officer
Alberto Giovanetti
Alberto Giovanetti
Embassy of Switzerland
Cultural and Scientific Attaché - Swissnex Counselor
Armando Vividor
Armando Vividor
Ministerio de Gobernacion
Jefe de Planificación
JB
José Carlos Bernal Rosales
UMB Tenango del Valle
Teacher
IL
Isabel Laut
Minsait
Manager
DP
DAVID PUENTES JURADO
GOVERNMENT OF CATALONIA
CIO
Rully Hermawan
Rully Hermawan
BMKG
Chief Of Observation
AV
Annabel Vanhoven
FutureproofedCities
customer success & sales specialist
VL
Víctor Lozano
Persona Natural
General Manager
SB
Shalom Ben Moshe
Rosh Haain Municipality
mayor
maria camila rojas guzman
maria camila rojas guzman
sevencom
Sevencom
FZ
Fu Zhuling
Huawei
1
Sascha Thorn
Sascha Thorn
Fira Barcelona Germany
Int. Key Account Manager Germany, Austria, Switzerland
lorenzo patuzzo
lorenzo patuzzo
Akasha Hub Barcelona
Visionary, founder, facilitator for the project to bloom.
nastaran najdaghi
nastaran najdaghi
municipality
head of urban regeneration department

Only accessible for registered users
This content is available only for registered users
TO: $$toName$$
SUBJECT: Message from $$fromName$$