15 Oct Smart cities in Belgium: this is what’s happening
Managing a city is no easy task: you cannot be everywhere and there are so many factors to take into account if you want to keep the neighborhoods alive: traffic, events, safety, nature policy. How can you do something smarter?
Enter: the smart city, or Smart City. A network of different sensors connects the government with the real situation so that they can make better decisions. Air filters measure the pollution, while cameras map the traffic jams and microphones listen to noise. Smart dashboards neatly summarize the information and communicate to the government in real time so that they can make decisions quickly and efficiently.
Singapore is top of the class in terms of smart cities worldwide. They do not hesitate to become a Smart Nation and they have quite a budget for that. Nationally, Antwerp is a precursor. There, the city of Antwerp, the Flemish government and IMEC join forces to create a Living Lab: experimenting together with smart technologies that can contribute to a more pleasant and sustainable city life.
Privacy and the Smart City: when will utopia become a dystopia?
Big Brother is getting more tricks up his sleeve. Where is the balance between “knowing more about the city” and preserving the privacy of its residents? For example, China is planning to introduce a “social credit system” in which it constantly monitors its residents. If you are socially desirable, you get more rights such as a better loan. If you are a dangle, you will be socially punished. Where is the border between making the city better and wanting to control its residents too much?
The future is now
Smart cities are no longer an idea of the future, but are here today. And they grow fast! To improve life in the city even further, they work together with big data experts, developers and consultants to gain more insight into the ins and outs of their city. In this way, more and more solutions are coming to the challenges that a city (or country) must face.
Where are we headed?
In recent years, the amount of data available by sensors, images, sound recordings, etc. has been booming. These data are being used more and more to derive patterns, for prevention purposes, for efficient city policy, etc … In the future, this will most likely only increase and can be used for good in the fight against pollution, security, traffic jams, crime and so on.
Sounds like music in your ears?
The smart city concept does not stop at sensors in the big city. Every company benefits from this way of thinking. For example, Geo Solution helped Alstom to track the location of their train sets in the production process and companies to efficiently evacuate when fate would strike and, for example, an explosion or leak would occur, taking into account the current wind direction and speed.