For some time now Hamburg has been working on becoming the world’s first Smart Seatropolis through a partnership between the City of Hamburg, the Hamburg Port Authorities and Cisco.
With an advanced, end-to-end network being built that connects real-time information between urban services and adjacent port operations historic Hamburg is leapfrogging into the 21st century. The city is Germany’s second-largest city with nearly 2 million residents.
Key to its plan is the ICT infrastructure built around the IoT principle that will overlay the Seatropolis, capable of linking things, people, processes and data to the internet.
With 10,000 big vessels a year visiting the 28-square-mile port – the third busiest in Europe – Hamburg is running out of capacity. For this reason a smarter road information system is required as there is no room for new roads to be built. So one of the first applications being installed is sensor-enabled smart parking for large container trucks. This will speed up the flow of traffic for both transporters and commuters, as well as reduce pollution from idling engines. With throughput of around 150 million tons a year, smart parking for trucks – a world first – has the dual benefit of improving supply chain efficiency and quality of life for Hamburg citizens living, working and visiting just across the mighty River Elbe.
Information from ships, roads, bridges and vehicles will be linked and data will be fed back to mobile phones and interactive road and port signage in real time. This digital infrastructure is being built on open standards and with a flexible architecture to integrate the proliferation of apps, everything from smart parking and taxi services to customised shopping discounts and ways to remotely turn off the lights at home.
They are looking at how best to collaboratively define, develop and deploy inter-linked solutions and services throughout the greater metro-port area.
Council is also installing environmental sensors around the port and city. These sensors measure factors ranging from temperature and humidity to wind direction, air pollution, water flows and river levels. They feed constant updates to a control centre where data is processed for immediate forecasting and long-term analysis.
Part of the broader smart city plan also includes looking at new ways to instantly inform its citizens about traffic patterns through the larger region, alerting them about emergencies or reporting environmental conditions or entertainment and dining options. This will be done via internet-linked applications accessed via strategically located kiosks or people’s own mobile devices. This will also allow citizens to interact with government offices for routine services. Inside the kiosks, citizens have face-to-face access to city agents via an immersive video teleconference. They can ask questions, print documents and submit forms.
Plans also call for exploring new smart lighting solutions that combine the latest lighting technology, motion sensors, video monitoring and digital data fed to sophisticated algorithms that dynamically adjust settings depending on the amount of traffic at particular streets, venues, etc.
In all the city is projecting a 70% reduction in operational costs over the next seven years.