Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

IEEE launches smart-cities initiative

Iain Morris
April 1, 2014

Standards body IEEE has launched a new smart-cities initiative aimed at providing strategic and practical advice to municipalities hoping to address population- and resource-related challenges through the use of M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

The group says it will consider applications for advice from municipalities and has set up a dedicated team of IEEE (Piscataway, NJ, USA) experts to provide education and training.

Noting that the United Nations is predicting a near doubling of city dwellers by 2050, IEEE says population growth will place huge demands on land, resources and services and that technology could help to relieve some of this pressure.

“Designing successful and sustainable smart cities requires careful planning about citizens’ energy, water, transportation, communications and public health and safety,” said Gilles Betis, chair of the IEEE smart-cities initiative. “IEEE has cultivated a powerful and talented brain trust that can assist municipalities in addressing all essential services that need to be managed in unison, to support the smooth operation of critical infrastructure while providing a clean, economic and safe environment for inhabitants to live, work and play.”

IEEE says municipalities chosen to receive assistance will be given the chance to work alongside a team of experts who will collaborate with the public and private sectors to explore related issues and address the challenges of preparing for urban population growth.

Help will consist of inaugural workshops, graduate student support, funding to develop content for courses, the organization of conferences on smart-city issues and access to IEEE lecturers.

Municipalities will also have the chance to join a community of ten cities that IEEE aims to engage with more closely in developed and developing countries between now and 2016.

IEEE has given municipalities until 16 May to apply for consideration under the initiative.

Applicants will have to provide evidence that the municipality is well positioned to use resources offered through the IEEE initiative and that its evolution into a smart city has the potential to address key challenges.

IEEE cites Guadalajara, Mexico as the first city to have received its assistance in the smart-cities area, having worked with the municipality since October last year.

“Guadalajara was an ideal candidate for the inaugural pilot and an excellent model for future projects, as it had already established an organization called the Ciudad Creativa Digital (CCD) to drive the transition to a smart city,” said Betis. “This effort is part of a comprehensive strategy for the revival and regeneration of the historic city center.”
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