The US-based technology organisation, IEEE’s steering committee has selected two cities, Wuxi in eastern China and Trento in northern Italy , to join its Smart Cities initiative. The cities showed that they are well positioned to utilise the resources offered through the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative and they also demonstrated plans to invest their own human and financial capital into the project. This shows that they are committed to improving the quality of life for their citizens,” says Gilles Betis, chair of the IEEE Smart Cities initiative.
China is focusing heavily on its metering programme which will run from 2015 to 2017. China now has more than twice as many smart meters installed as the total number of households in the US. The country has a tremendous amount to offer in the development of the smart grid.[US and China Collaboration on Smart Grids-Significant Benefits for the Industry.]
The two regions join Guadalajara in Mexico .
The initiative’s goal is to establish a group of diverse cities from around the world to serve as examples for many other municipalities that have similar evolution objectives.
Smart city programme
City planners from Wuxi and Trento will collaborate with a team of IEEE experts to explore the issues and address what is needed for their growing urban populations. In addition, their participation in the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative will comprise an inaugural workshop, white paper development, graduate student support (PhD and Masters), development of content for MOOCs (massive open online courses), and organisation of an international conference on smart cities.
Smarter than most
Chiara Morandini, general manager, Trento Municipality, said: “This collaboration will nicely augment our existing political and operational strategy for the ‘quality of life’ concept, intended to stimulate economic growth, improve social welfare, ensure sustainable urban services and provide access to advanced technological innovations to create a pleasant city-lifestyle and well functioning community.”
In May 2013, Trento was ranked 45 in a study compiled by three universities of European Smart Cities. With a population of about 500,000 people, Trento has extensive broadband access allowing residents to see the open data provided by local authorities in a bid to give citizens the chance to shape the development of their city.
Another project is Le Albere district with smart housing, a glass fibre network to allow building automation and data transfer.
The city is also running smart city pilots under an agreement signed with Telefónica Digital and Telecom Italia in October 2012.
Sustainable urban growth
The largest issue that Wuxi, near Shanghai, is attempting to solve is enabling sustainable growth for its city. Being able to tap into the ideas of IEEE experts in that process will help Wuxi achieve its aggressive urbanisation goals to reduce pollution levels and traffic congestion, provide adequate energy, housing and employment, and ensure its city residents enjoy their living environment, the organisation confirmed.