Recently, while developing a project for Smart City modeling and Citizen Living Experience for a Spanish town, the process of changing the model of public space into a passively value generating public space took an accelerating process. How can, then, IoT (Internet of Things) and EV (Electric Vehicles) mobility enhance the public spaces? How can the concept of a regenerative and value adding public space be part of an integral Smart City and Smart Mobility modeling?
On one hand, IoT is one of the key drivers for passive granularity of data. This fact is one of the main drivers for a public space and the social interactions occurring on that very public space in order to achieve spatial efficiency.
When planning and integrating innovation on the built environment, as well as the confluence integration of different approaches (bottom up design, participatory design, mobility interaction, etc. all) the vastness of data to control becomes one of the main barriers for that public space to succeed.
The capability to have the correct and advisable set of data belongs to granularity management and design of the required IoT. And IoT allows public space to get the sensors required for data collection much closer to existing and foreseeable target elements than simply having a set of environment sensors.
This granularity can help measure effectiveness of public space usage, effectiveness of transit and transit derived elements, and how data can be metabolized and incorporated into the management of the public space and public sector (City protocol, signed and progressed by several institutions, has just started to elaborate on this field). Granularity is achievable through volume and placement. Simply put, unlocalized or global sensor will not be enough.
Granularity shows, as well, certain challenges in order to be perfectly integrated and perfectly achievable by both cities, citizens and the services around them.
Connectivity: Mobility, citizens, sensorings and the Internet of Things
Granularity on data has helped us understand that mobility has to evolve into a system able to work on the general grid or layer a city is, and on the particularity levels citizens will demand to have. That can only be achieved by a perfect synchronization between data collection and data management, along with data expectations citizens already have.
Designing the framework of a city citizen experience – which is key to manage the competitiveness logbook or binnacle – shall include a data collection strategy. And on that strategy is key to understand how connected devices can help granularity achieve the best balance for a set social elements and city environment.
Connected devices and connected urban apparel will have to get communicating with smart mobility related real-time sensoring. The first, the connected urban apparel have the advantage to log static data, whereas smart mobility IoT has the capability of moving sensors, unleashing the potential of two different approaches for city management and city life:
The static elements can measure site and place evolution, whereas mobile sensors and IoT can measure transitions between sites and places.
Improving the cities and the quality of life of citizens
It is important to notice that regardless of the nature of the data to be measured and the communication IoT can develop to enhance public space, digital sensoring and the Internet of Things is a step further development of the concept of Sentinel Species.
We have been using Sentinel Species to gauge and interact with the environment surrounding us. And IoT and mobile sensoring – which is presented on Smart Mobility – will just enhance the capacities Sentinel Species have on urban environments.
Moreover, IoT can be used to enhance the use and spatial efficiency of the public space. That does not mean IoT has to be present as an active part of the public space – or the property figure of any given part. IoT can help us reach the required granularity to better understand and better project the public space usage and utility.
IoT can help us connect different parts of the same city to counteract the lack of social activity a certain area has, and can evolve into a pathology for that area. Integrated with smart mobility, it can help via passive and non-intrusive connectivity to activate areas of the city that might suffer from the CBD (Central Business District) syndrome very many cities have developed (Antony Gormley: ‘London is bought, developed and abandoned’), and prevent urban economies from having the property and ownership peaks it usually develops.
Yet the most important element of IoT within Smart Mobility systems and creating value on public space across cities is its capability of improving management and transparency.
What do you think about the increasing connectivity of public spaces? Would you imagine yourself on a better public space due to the connectivity and technological interaction it has? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.