Faced with the development of even larger metropolises, cities are taking on a new face. Economic issues along with mobility and environmental challenges all require local stakeholders to come up with new services that meet the needs of growing populations. To achieve this, information and communication technologies are serving new smart cities, intelligent cities that have the key to optimize costs and improve services.
The development of Open Data systems
Twenty-five municipalities and metropolises in France are classified as smart cities already. And, their number continues to grow year on year. After Paris and regional capitals such as Rennes in Brittany or Lyon in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alps region, even cities with fewer than 250,000 inhabitants such as Issy-les-Moulineaux, Mulhouse, and Grenoble have also completed projects with a focus on intelligent services. The majority of them have access to the Open Data development. This system of open data access provides residents with new services such as the ability to track their municipality's budget, know their city's exact birth rate or even see the number of self-service bicycles available at any time. They can even follow the amount of waste collected per head of population across the year.
Focusing on more efficient public services
While Open Data tops the list of most frequent achievements, other innovations have been developed or are under development. Interactive applications and e-administration give inhabitants a voice. The extension of the public linear WiFi associated with IoT or the Internet of Things is certainly the next phase of development for cities wishing to develop these innovative services. For example, at Mureaux in the region of Yvelines, sensors integrated into car parks give real time information about the number of spaces available while also warning traffic officers when certain cars have overstayed their maximum authorized time. Chartres, for its part, has focused its project on improving the use of public lighting. Its aim is not only less use but better use.
Communicating into the future
Practically, data collection is carried out using wireless sensor networks that have been integrated seamlessly into the environment. These networks are able to measure many parameters. All of this data is then transmitted in real time which enables any necessary action to be taken quickly. Today, pollution and road traffic can be analyzed with precision. The results obtained mean that it is possible to streamline road usage. This then has a positive effect on the environment. Soon, not only the use of municipal waste bins but even all the street furniture will be communicating wirelessly. The Internet of Things (IoT) is definitely going to invigorate the cities of tomorrow!
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