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Smart cities for a more sustainable future

On September 15th, as part of the ICT Spring Europe Digital Summit in Luxembourg, Clotilde Cochinaire, IOT solutions and smart territories expert for Western Europe, Huawei Technologies, delivered a keynote entitled “Smart cities for a more sustainable future”.

“Without the use of ICT technologies, it is impossible to be a smart and sustainable city”, Cochinaire explained as an introduction. The progress of recent years has enabled the creation of such a city.  Many countries around the world have defined and implemented strategies in building smart cities based on the digital economy for sustainable development. “Smart city project is a systematic process of reengineering of society operations. When it starts, there is no end to it”, she stated.

Urbanisation is a driving force of this trend. “Half of the world’s population lives in cities and issues start to rise,” she said, calling out problems with traffic, food safety, healthcare or education. She explained that better connectivity can help smart cities to address these issues, sharing Huawei’s successful projects in Goaquing and Weifang, China, and Amsterdam, Netherlands, as well as Duisburg, Germany, and Lyon, France.

An urban nervous system

In Gaoqing, “the ultimate goal was to set up a benchmark for smart cities in China”. Huawei assessed the project based on three categories: better governance, better livelihood, and better industries. Using cloud computing, IoT, AI, 5G, the company created an urban nervous system: the brain (the central nervous system) is composed by an Intelligent Operation Center and a Cloud Data Center, and the peripheral nervous system by City IoT and City Communication network, with interactions between them.  By combining data with policies, events and indicators, “the Operation Center enables comprehensive city management, emergency command and scientific decision-making”. The coordination of Big Data, Cloud, AI, Command and GIS (geographic information system) provides a “fertile soil” to make Smart Gaoqing a “living organism”: “The architecture is a scalable one on self-evolving”.

In Weifang, 40000 street lights have been rebuilt based on IoT technology, increasing efficiency and decreasing power consumption.

No smart building, not smart city

In Amsterdam, in collaboration with its partner Geodan, Huawei has set up a digital twin to tackle three challenges: energy and environment monitoring, mobility, and well-being. In Duisburg, the city reinvented itself with a smart city project based on the cloud platform.

“There is no smart city if there is no smart building.” That’s why Huawei worked with its partner Ubiant in Lyon on a project to make Confluence Housing more energy efficient. In order to do so, a digital twin is enabled to manage digitally each energy event inside the building.  

“To be successful, a smart city project needs to be not only user centric, ecosystem centric, and environment centric, but it also needs to englobe power efficient systems, fundings, answers to present needs and be deployed by a strong execution team. It is the only way to have a common shared value on a sustainable project”, concluded Cochinaire.

Article by Nicolas Klein

More info on Huawei projects in Amsterdam HERE and in Lyon HERE.

More info on ICT Spring Europe 2021 HERE.