Atlanta City launches smart cities initiative for cleaner living

Atlanta City launches smart cities initiative for cleaner living

Sigfox brings low-power IoT network to 100 US cities
Sigfox brings low-power IoT network to 100 US cities

The City of Atlanta is working on a significant smart cities initiative which will include pilot projects across a number of sectors. Atlanta’s city government hopes to implement Internet of Things (IoT) projects to help it monitor the user of water, increase efficiency of transportation, and improve public safety.

The programme is using a framework that’s being built by AT&T, which has made alliances with Cisco, Deloitte, Ericsson, GE, IBM, Intel, and Qualcomm Technologies Inc. The framework is being taken to a number of US cities and universities including Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Chicago and Dallas.

The framework includes provision for a range of smart deployment scenarios such as infrastructure (for example roads, buildings and parks monitoring), citizen engagement (such as mobile apps), transportation (such as digital signs) and public safety (such as gun fire detection technology). AT&T is also developing a digital dashboard that gives cities a high level view of asset performance in near real time. The Smart City Network Operation Center (SC-NOC) will be a one-stop shop for city officials to keep aware of a whole range of areas such as power outages, water leaks and traffic issues.

Part of the planned deployment in Atlanta is to put video cameras at spots that include high crime zones.

Smart cities: Privacy in question

Aware of citizens’ concerns about privacy issues, Atlanta’s CIO Samir Saini is on record as saying that the city administration will be transparent about the technology being deployed and what it can and can’t do. He has said that privacy controls to protect and encrypt information are being built into the system. He is also clear that at present the city doesn’t have enough ‘situational awareness’ to help first responders react with speed to public safety situations.

Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed has said that improving sustainability and increasing public safety are already top priorities for the City of Atlanta. When announcing the AT&T partnership in January he said: “With the integration of AT&T’s Smart City solutions, we will be better positioned to support these initiatives while also enriching the lives of our residents.”

The planned smart city deployments in Atlanta include:

  • smart cameras for public safety
  • license plate capture
  • Smart streetlights which could include perimeter monitoring for car parks and air quality sensors
  • Waste water pipe peak monitoring
  • Smart refuse bins which let collection crews know when they are full