Recently (due to the insane high cost of cellular minutes) on a trip to Europe I was struck by something interesting. First off, Wi-Fi is much more prevalent now than it was 5 years ago when I was frequently in Europe. But it is not as ubiquitous yet as it will be. The second thing I found incredibly interesting is the reality of power. On the streets of Amsterdam there are free electric car stations. Installed by the city and in a growing number of neighborhoods. Kudos to the city for being a game changer!
I believe renewable energy needs a kick start. I have written the law I think every city, state and country should pass. If you build a building higher than 5 stories it has to have a renewable offset. Be that solar, wind or a combination of the two. Smart cities of tomorrow reduce the cost of power by creating renewable resources for citizens.
The other topic I’ve brought up before is that of a city cloud broker. I have a good friend who talks about creating markets. A city cloud broker system could create a market that was amazing. From innovation of small and new businesses, to attracting large corporations with a “portable” infrastructure. Creating a system that would allow citizens even greater access to security and resources. Imagine the power of a city buying cloud services for all its citizens. Creating within its own broker a spot market that could allow organizations to recoup the cost of pre-paid cloud instances they aren’t using. Reducing the cost for small and net new business starting up by offering resources across the board.
Yes, it would be an amazing thing. Within the broker concept the city can also consider and integrate the broader broker concept I’ve talked about, that of a IoT or Cyber Physical Systems broker. Increasing the availability of IoT infrastructures that are secure and robust.
Resources can then be available and shared. Cities can create marketplaces for organizations to buy local rather than always buying nationally. Why local? It helps the local economy and grows the work force in the city itself. All of this provided by the offering of, and small charge for the use of a cloud catalog or City Service Catalog and Marketplace.
Office supply vendors would lose foot traffic as the marketplace evolves, but they could quickly turn into warehouses for office supplies purchased in mass. The reduced cost of startup would allow more companies to support small innovate ideas.
This IoT/CPS broker could also further enable the #mysmartcity process. Connecting all the resources of a city to the broker. Offering those services, with a centralized security system. Homes and the broker would be protected by the city itself. This would lead to greater security, and fewer weak points in the chain. It would require vigilance though. Complacency is the happy place for hackers.
In the two links I embedded in this blog I started building the case. I have new business model today that is one near and dear to my heart that would apply.
1. The ability to change traffic lights to better support pedestrians.
2. The ability to modify traffic lights to reduce traffic congestion.
So the two are very different. Near my house in Maryland there is a school. My sons walk to that school every day they are in school. They have to cross a very busy road in our city to get to school. The stoplight at the intersection where they cross has a cross walk. That crosswalk is timed (we walk the dogs by it every day) to 25 seconds. That is far too short a light. I’ve written letters several times complaining about the length of the light but to no avail. With an automated broker the city could quickly modify traffic flow by seeing clumps of teenagers standing around in the cold waiting for lights to change and then modifying traffic further because no one can turn right from the approaching road while all the students cross. The other side of this is watching traffic flow the system could present ways to reduce overall congestion in areas that often back up at various times of the days.
Smart City Brokers will create a new way to do business, commute to work and walk to school!