In recent years, a variety of forces (economic, environmental, and social) have quickly given rise to “shared mobility,” a collective of entrepreneurs and consumers leveraging technology to share transportation resources, save money, and generate capital. Bikesharing services, such as BCycle, and business-to-consumer carsharing services, such as Zipcar, have become part of a sociodemographic trend that has pushed shared mobility from the fringe to the mainstream. The role of shared mobility in the broader landscape of urban mobility has become a frequent topic of discussion. Shared transportation modes—such as bikesharing, carsharing, ridesharing, ridesourcing/transportation network companies (TNCs), and microtransit—are changing how people travel and are having a transformative effect on smart cities.
The Smartest Building in the USA
With the completion of the Duke Energy Center (DEC) in Charlotte (North Carolina, USA), the path has been laid for smart buildings to become the new standard in commercial real estate.
What exactly does it take to be the smartest building in America?
When they decided to undertake a smart building project, Wells Fargo’s Corporate Properties faced several challenges. First, the building contracts were signed and finalized, so the budget and timeframe were set. Second, building in long-term cost-efficiency and flexibility was a priority. After all, that is why the building was going to be smart. The last challenge, and likely the most difficult, was to reduce risks from building technology changes with its current infrastructure.
Overall, it is important that buildings continue or start to include all controlling systems into a converged network.
Within traditional commercial buildings there are multiple overlapping infrastructures, including cables, networks, servers and more. Even more typically, we see that the IT infrastructure components within the same building vary in design, security level and quality. The need for improvement in these disparate systems greatly outpaced the capabilities of traditional design teams. The transition from a traditional controls system to a single backbone system concerned many because of the potential risks, including increases in expenses, more system downtime and the inability for seamless systems integration.
Taking into account these challenges and potential risks, Wells Fargo moved forward, allowing contractors to remain focused on tasks such as HVAC, lighting, elevator, metering, security, etc., while allowing IT networking experts focus on the networking systems.
The Cisco team was tasked with designing and installing a building-grade backbone network as part as their “Smart + Connected” real estate solution. Together, we agreed that a neutral, secure backbone was the most reliable, cost-efficient solution. Better than any other approach that was possible, it would ensure that neither the features of the buildings nor the project budget would be compromised. The Cisco network approach leverages various types of cables and optic lines for equipment and terminations, and this neutral, single backbone approach accommodates countless systems regardless of type.
[marker address=”550 S. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202″]Duke Energy Center, Charlotte, NC[/marker]
Though the main role of manufacturers and contractors didn’t change, with a slight adjustment they were able to plug into the IT-enabled components and infrastructure within the building. This adaptation benefits their present and future operations because it’s expanding their competency to include network integration.
Operationally, the impact is immediate and ongoing. Leveraging IT staff to ensure proper design, installation and management greatly improves building reliability and service issue resolution. Because each system is now linked through the network, it allows for easy adaptability and updates. The financial impact during construction was minimal, but the new building design allows for continually reduced energy and operational costs. Perhaps the most important to a number of parties, the environmental sustainability, has been outstanding; in fact, the results have contributed to its LEED Platinum status.
Overall, it is important that buildings continue or start to include all controlling systems into a converged network. Converging disparate systems into one network, tied together through a range of solutions which allow engineers, constructors, real estate developers and property managers to drive down operational costs. Smart buildings are no longer something we hope to see in the future; they are a reality in today’s world, we are seeing smart buildings become the norm in those cities which are striving to become smarter, better connected, and more sustainable.
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Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
A study by the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in 2008 found that the impact of routine weather events on the US economy equates annually to about 3.4% of the country’s GDP (about $485 billion). This excludes the impact of extreme weather events that cause damage and disruption – after all, even “ordinary” weather affects supply of and demand for many items, and the propensity of businesses and consumers to buy them. NCAR found that mining and agriculture are particularly sensitive to weather influences, with utilities and retail not far behind.
Many of these, disaster management included, are the focus of smart city innovations. Not surprisingly, therefore, as they seek to improve and optimize these systems, smart cities are beginning to understand the connection between weather and many of their goals. A number of vendors (for example, IBM, Schneider Electric, and others) now offer weather data-driven services focused specifically on smart city interests.
Urban Planning Today: Perception vs. Reality When the planning profession was still nascent in the 1950’s, well defined social needs and the desire to improve poor living conditions were the dominant basis for policy and regulation. By the time the 1970’s and 80’s...