Innovation seems to be everywhere – construction, manufacturing, public projects, services. We have discovered, among other things, the boost we get from information technology can enhance purchasing, health decisions, vacation plans, food delivery, and filing our taxes.
The ongoing development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has the potential to further transform our personal and work lives by:
- enabling new collaborative models.
- improving worker efficiency.
- promoting innovation.
- improving access to services.
Companies are leveraging automation to create net-zero-energy buildings, streamline efficient green manufacturing at scale and develop Smart Cities. Building information modeling (BIM), including energy analysis and daylighting, is part of the effort to advance green building design and achieve a low-carbon future.
Advanced ICT in urban settings can give rise to the Smart City – a concept that uses technology and data to improve governance, planning, management, and livability of a city. That’s accomplished by gathering and putting to use real-world, real-time data and leveraging it across asset lifecycles.
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A city’s entire infrastructure can potentially be connected using advanced ICT to solve traffic, environmental and housing issues. Data is made accessible, usable and relevant, providing insights for better filling the needs of residents. Through real-world context, city management can predict and prioritize how to best adapt to challenges and optimize management to meet future needs.
An advanced ICT platform can enable real-time monitoring and city infrastructure efficiency. Described by IEEE Xplore, a Web Portal can enable city administration to collect data from infrastructure, sensors, meters, and other energy sources to assist with energy management, real-time monitoring as well as billing purposes. The collected data can be processed by “green” tools of the ICT platform, with attention to such things as municipal buildings, poles and electric vehicle stations. Managers can also react to critical incidents or urban systems failure.
Research continues into the technologies needed to support Smart Cities, with a focus on using ICT to manage transportation, traffic control, building operations, energy monitoring, and pollution monitoring. Especially interesting are platforms that use the Internet of Things (IoT). Partnerships between municipalities and private companies like IBM and Cisco have tested traffic sensing technologies using magnetic sensors and wi-fi scanners. In addition, sensor networks can enable real-time monitoring of water infrastructure and management of energy grids. They can provide a more solid grasp of what’s happening from moment to moment.
Enabling Smart Cities could include cloud-based data hubs with an IoT-centered framework watching traffic, energy use and water distribution. In addition to infrastructure management, cloud-based hubs can help integrate both historical and real-time data sets gathered from government, community groups and integrated sensors. These diverse data sets can be accessed by developers and curated for end users.
Applications can use the data to adapt to current conditions or simulate future conditions. Thus, they can address needs in multiple forms of transportation, environmental waste management, and load management, based on the needs of urban authorities, citizen groups or local businesses. Advanced ICT makes it possible to organize and aggregate data and plan for cities of the future.