Heard the term “Smart City” yet?
In researching the 2017 MHI Annual Industry Report, to be released on April 5 at ProMat 2017, Deloitte Consulting’s Patrick Salemme was surprised to discover that 47 percent of the more than 1,100 survey respondents (all manufacturing and supply chain professionals) were aware of the concept.
“Further, of that 47 percent, 24 percent reported they are already planning, investing and collaborating to develop capabilities within their supply chains that leverage Smart City technologies,” he notes.
If you’re among the 53 percent of manufacturing and supply chain professionals as yet unaware of Smart Cities, you can expect to be hearing more about them (and not just in this article or at ProMat).
What exactly is a Smart City? It’s a vision for the future wherein multiple information and communication devices and technologies are securely integrated with Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled solutions in order to better manage a city and its assets, says Bruce Stubbs, director of supply chain marketing at MHI member Honeywell Safety & Productivity Solutions.
“In this ecosystem are local departments’ information systems, such as schools, libraries, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement and other community services,” he explains. “The goal of building a Smart City is to improve quality of life by using actionable insights and technology to improve services, monitor infrastructure and proactively create maintenance and repair orders.”
According to Information Age, the Smart Cities concept originated in 2005, when the Clinton Foundation challenged Cisco to figure out how to make cities more sustainable by leveraging its technological expertise in networks, sensors, analytics and digital communications. Cisco subsequently dedicated $25 million to research the topic over the next five years, proving the concept in pilot programs in Amsterdam, San Francisco and Seoul—which then evolved into its current Smart+Connected Communities initiative.
Since then, municipalities worldwide have started taking steps, in varying degrees, to plan and implement the elements that will make urban cores more adaptable, secure and livable.
By Carol Miller, MHI Vice President of Marketing and Communications