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    The Smart City: 

    Is This How We Will Live in Future?

    Half of the global population lives in cities. This figure will be around two-thirds by 2050. This growth presents serious challenges for cities. We have taken a look at a potential solution: Smart homes in the smart city. A concept that is based on digital networking, big data and sharing.

  • You don’t need to look to the future to spot the problems with cities – take a look at the roads instead. Cars clog up arterial roads. Pollution hangs heavy in the air. And housing is scarcer and more expensive than ever before. There are also issues with the water supply, power supply and waste disposal in many cities. We need smart solutions, right now! Cities such as Barcelona, Copenhagen, Vienna, Singapore and Dubai are paving the way for us all here.

    The challenges differ from city to city, but the ideas are similar. A smart city collects data via sensors and makes this information publicly and freely available. Everything is networked: Public parking spaces, street lights, traffic lights, public bus services, cars, houses, apartments, electric companies, city and town councils, the police and so on. Smart devices are also moving in with us: Your smartphone talks to your refrigerator, heating, coffee machine, roller blinds, washing machine... It can even control your parking heater to pre-heat your car in winter.

    City Map with network nodes Our cities are becoming increasingly smart and networked.
  • The smart city: The benefits of a networked city.

    Large road with networked vehicles Different approaches are used to digitise large cities. 

    What’s the point in all of this? Here are a few examples. Mexico has managed to significantly reduce the number of power cuts since electricity suppliers have started using sensors to find out which city districts need more, and which need less, energy at specific times of the day. In Barcelona, sensors monitor public car parks so that drivers can see where parking is available in real time via an app. They don’t need to keep driving around in circles to find a space. This helps to keep drivers happy and the streets a little bit clearer. Another smart move: Street lights have sensors and only light up when someone is there. In Helsinki, one district is focusing on solar power and offering residents solar panel benches to charge smartphones and electric bikes for free. They also have an alternative to electric bikes: Robobuses, a fleet of self-driving electric buses. There is no human at the wheel – the bus transports passengers from A to B all on its own. In another interesting initiative, this district has also got rid of its bin collections. A 20 km long underground conveyor system now transports the waste.

  • How Dubai and Singapore are using data.

    Dubai networks helpful services in an app. Users can buy bus tickets, call a taxi, register a car, pay energy bills and so much more at the touch of a button. Singapore, by contrast, has collated all its data in a virtual model. With Virtual Singapore, the city council can see what is going on in the city in real time. For example, it can display every single registered vehicle. This project is not about monitoring citizens, it’s about using the data to make decisions that make life safer and more convenient for people. The experts can also use it to simulate how a disease might spread across the city and then put countermeasures in place.

    An app to control all necessary actions in the city Dubai and Singapore have intelligent apps for their citizen that make everyday life easier.
  • The kupa neighbourhood’s sharing model

    Sharing of electric car charging stations in front of a smart residential complex Will the sharing model of the kupa quarter in Munich prevail? We are curious!

    Another innovative approach can be seen in Munich’s Pasing district, where the kupa neighbourhood has emerged around a heritage-protected former envelope factory dating back to 1909. Sharing is the magic word here, intended to create a better quality of life and a strong community spirit for residents. In kupa, residents share much more than the large rooftop terraces with each other: Kitchen areas, workspaces, a bicycle workshop, electric cars, charging stations, electric scooters, electric bikes and electric cargo bikes are all available to everybody. There's even an MVG IsarCard public transport pass for anyone to use. Sharing is the new owning. It is thought that this will make mobility as pleasant, efficient and suitable as possible for all. A neighbourhood app provides a home for the features and services on one platform. Help is just a tap away, as the concierge service can also be contacted via the app. The effect: More community, more efficiency and fewer vehicles on the streets. A smart model that could be a game-changer for the future of our cities.

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