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As more and more people move into urban areas, cities around the world are increasingly turning to tech, particularly the Internet of Things (IoT) to better manage their growing urban populations.
Late last year, Cape Town was named as one of 22 cities around the world leading in implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
Cape Town is one of 22 smart cities acknowledged to be leading in the implementation of IoT in Nokia’s Smart City Playbook
A 2016 report titled the Smart City Playbook which was commissioned by Nokia looked at how 22 cities around the world are leveraging the power of IoT to become smart, safe and sustainable.
The cities profiled in the study include: Auckland, Bangkok, Barcelona, Berlin, Bogota, Bristol, Cape Town, Cleveland, Delhi, Dubai, Jeddah, Mexico City, New York City, Paris, Pune, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Vienna and Wuxi.
The common IoT applications found in these cities fall into one of three categories, namely: smart living, smart safety and smart sustainability.
Smart living applications include connected signage, event notifications, public WiFi and connected street furniture.
Smart safety IoT applications include smart care and assisted living, closed circuit television (CCTV) and smart CCTV, incident detection, crowd monitoring and control and adaptive lighting. Other applications are environmental monitoring, emergency alerts and notifications and diseases surveillance and epidemic monitoring.
The third category, smart sustainability, includes energy management, transport, smart parking, traffic management, bicycle sharing, smart lighting, public space water management and waste management.
Here are some of the IoT applications Cape Town is implementing.
Open data portal
The City of Cape Town has a wide range of data available on its Open Data Portal which was launched in 2015. The open-sourced data sets cover budgets, tourist routes, tenders, air quality and dam levels among others with more available on request.
In addition, The City of Cape Town in conjunction with the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative will host an Open Data Tourism Hackathon between 27 and 29 October at the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn.
Gunshot detection system
Shot Spotter, a real-time gunshot detection and alert system, was first piloted in Cape Town’s Hanover Park and Manenberg surburbs in 2016. In Manenberg, in its first three months, authorities were able to reduce gun crime from 211 to 21 incidents using the system. Last week, The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality announced it would be rolling out the technology.
Traveller information service
i-Traffic, a free traveller information service developed by the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) provides motorists in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape with real-time time traffic conditions and alerts.
In Cape Town, drivers can access Cape Town FMS to get information on traffic flows on the N1, N2, N7, R300 and M5.
The City of Cape Town’s Strategic Surveillance Unit currently monitors over 560 CCTV cameras 24 hours a day.
Earlier this year, the City of Cape Town announced plans that is would next year add more cameras and install license plate recognition cameras in Hout Bay, Sea Point, Bo-Kaap and Mowbray.
Cape Town has a public WiFi service which provides users with 100MB of free data per day. Over 500 public WiFi zones are distributed across public buildings in the city in a project that began in 2010.
In addition, residents and tourists can access 50MB of free data on MyCiti buses, with additional free services like weather available on the network.
Featured image: Hamza Butt via Flickr (CC 2.0 BY-SA, resized)
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