Light it up and let’s get moving! Smart Cities, mobility and lighting

By Katy Barbier-Greenland, Global Executive Events Conference Producer.


At the Unleashing Innovation in Smart City and IoT summit held in Amsterdam in early June, some of the most significant issues faced by citizens on a daily basis, including mobility and lighting. These elements relate to safety, movement and comfort, key elements that underpin a sense of satisfaction and comfort in the lives of residents in cities, and are experienced at the micro / individual level as well as at the macro level of a society.

Movement and cities

Transport and mobility are crucial elements for the smooth functioning of cities. Smart and IoT will become even more pervasive throughout cities, emerging as a constellation of services that integrate hundreds of IoT initiatives and a plethora of smart solutions. Unleashing Innovation in Smart City and IoT brought together leaders from across The Netherlands, Europe and beyond to work through some of these issues using case studies from their work.

Dr Franck Cazenave (Smart Cities Director, France and BeNeLux) introduced some of the great work he’s leading in that space, with a focus on emerging issues like self-driving cars and managing flow. Raymond Li (Head of Strategy and Planning, EMEA, Uber) delivered an engaging presentation reflecting on urban mobility and Uber’s commitment to creating innovative solutions that combat issues around pollution, congestion and parking in an increasingly complex environment, all the while meeting customer expectations to ‘push a button, get a ride’.

The backbone of a city: lighting and its smart possibilities

No matter how much we might take it for granted, lighting is a critical factor for cities, and the possibilities for its use go way beyond ‘off and on’ automation. As cities and municipalities evolve, the issues posed by rapid growth continue to pose interesting questions in relation to the ways in which technology can be harnessed to address environmental, economic and social factors. Lighting is one of the key opportunities for smart cities, sitting right at the juncture of safety, technology, energy and sustainability.

At the recent Unleashing Innovation in Smart Citiy and IoT summit, Peter Gyenes (New Business Development Manager Sylvania Lighting) explained how a city’s plans for smart lighting requires a strategic and nuanced approach, as it can easily become a politically charged issue. We’re poised on the edge of numerous innovations that have the potential to quietly transform our environments, from streetlights with smart devices to cloud-based solutions for scalability and sustainability of infrastructure.

Manon den Dunnen (Strategic Specialist Digital Transformation, Politie Nederland) delved into the ways in which smart city lighting performs multiple functions, offering safety and security for people moving through a city in the darkness and facilitating wayfinding, but also offers the potential for data capture. The big data and data linkage potential for lighting to be used in a forensic capacity, in terms of putting together data from potentially thousands of data collection points is immense. Patterns and trends can emerge, assisting with all kinds of policing activity from safety enhancement to prevention of crime and enhancing safety for all residents. Now that’s the kind of city we all look forward to living in in the future!

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