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Missing out on street light benefits? 3 fresh ideas from Copenhagen

Submitted by scc partner on December 18, 2015

Copenhagen, one of the world’s most sustainable and smartest cities, has set the ambitious goal of becoming carbon neutral by the year 2025. For that reason, the city is transforming how it manages energy use, traffic systems and emergency response.

Copenhagen’s commitment to the smart city transformation begins, in part, through more efficient and networked street lighting systems supported by Silver Spring Networks, a Council Associate Partner.

A Comprehensive, Collaborative Approach
Key stakeholders are taking a comprehensive approach to rethinking smart city innovation. City leaders have collaborated through partnerships involving government, research institutions and solution providers. The Copenhagen Solutions Lab is one of the leading organizations at the forefront of this movement. By bringing together manufacturers with municipal buyers, the Copenhagen Solutions Lab has catalyzed the development and deployment of next-generation smart city innovations. Copenhagen is leveraging this unique approach to accelerate the implementation of smart city solutions. One of the primary focus areas is LED street lighting.

Copenhagen chose Silver Spring Networks and partners Citelum and SELC to deploy an enhanced city lighting system designed to improve energy efficiency, lower operational costs, enable remote lighting management and control, and improve citizen safety. The goal is to install and network 20,000 LED street lights throughout the city, and provide a flexible network that can then support many other smart city applications.

Saving Energy and Money
Copenhagen is replacing its high-pressure sodium lamps with highly efficient LED fixtures that not only provide a better quality of light but also ensure energy savings of 65%.

As part of the deployment, Copenhagen is implementing Silver Spring’s radio modules to allow for instant alerting on failures as well as an additional layer of energy savings by managing the light output throughout the night. Lights will first change intensity based on a schedule, but a future addition could be to dynamically dim or brighten based the presence or absence of humans — maximizing both safety and energy efficiency.

Enabling Smarter, Safer Human-Powered Transport
In this city of 600,000 inhabitants, nearly half of commuter trips are taken by bicycle. As this number is expected to rise, increasing the safety of the trip is paramount.

One application uses a fusion of intersection-based occupancy sensors and light controls to sense an approaching bicyclist and provide extra light as they cross vehicle intersections. This, combined with other new applications that leverage smart traffic signals such as the bike ‘green wave’ system, can help cyclists avoid red traffic lights and inform them of the quietest or fastest route to their destination.

Leveraging One Network for Multiple Applications
Investing in a network foundation is core to Copenhagen’s unique approach. Copenhagen Connecting, one of the Copenhagen Solution Lab’s most celebrated projects, demonstrates the value of a comprehensive data strategy for accelerating smart city solutions.

By building a truly comprehensive, open-data hub, the city is leveraging efforts in multiple sectors to optimize resource allocation across a number of smart city applications. This unique approach promotes integrated uses of technologies and services that improve citizen services and overall quality of life.

Copenhagen continues to lead in developing cutting edge smart city innovations, and its investment in street lighting is a clear example of how a common network can serve as a foundation for those goals.

By leveraging Silver Spring’s multi-application network, Copenhagen can avoid having to manage multiple, siloed systems as it adds applications in the future. Silver Spring’s network canopy supports the various bandwidth and latency requirements of different smart city applications, while also collecting and integrating data from various environmental sensors to provide the maximum benefit for its citizens.

Get Smart Street Lighting 101 …
Street lights can be more than just street lights. In addition to helping you reach your energy conservation goals, they can serve as a platform for smart city services. Smart Street Lighting 101 is packed with useful information and brief case studies highlighting the benefits cities are accruing as they move to integrated street light networks that can serve as a backbone for other smart city applications and it’s free for Council members. Download your copy today.

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