Council member Cisco is one of the high-tech companies partnering with the government of Portugal to invent and build a state-of-the-art smart city from the ground up. Located in the town of Paredes about two hours north of Lisbon, Portugal, the project is spearheaded by Portuguese company Living PlanIT. Situated on more than 4,000 acres, the community will take at least four years to complete at an estimated cost of $10 billion. It will eventually house about 225,000 people, many of whom will work for Living PlanIT’s technology partners at new research and commercialization centers.
The city is designed as a living laboratory for new technologies. Data collection sensors will be added to virtually everything, from refrigerators to trash containers to traffic lights. Those sensors will monitor every aspect of urban life, including traffic flow, energy consumption, water use, waste processing, even the temperature of individual rooms. All these sensors will be connected to Living PlanIT’s Urban OS (UOS), a middleware platform that is embedded in the fabric of buildings and infrastructure.
UOS will integrate with Council member Microsoft’s Devices & Services Platform to enable city governments to deliver a comprehensive set of services. Cisco is acting as the master planner for information technology and communications design and architecture. Cisco is also building a cutting-edge data center at an estimated cost of $38 million.
The city’s digital control system will accommodate an expanding list of applications, from managing electricity demand to routing traffic to finding a parking spot, to name just a few. In the event of a fire, for instance, sensors can pinpoint the location, alert people nearby, notify the fire station and manage the traffic lights so fire engines can reach the building as quickly as possible.
Or the control system might notice that the interior of a building is getting too hot. With its knowledge of the outside temperature plus the building’s equipment and orientation, it could relay a command to darken the smart glass on the building’s sunward side to reduce the sun’s warming effect.
The consortium hopes to ultimately create a platform to enable a new generation of intelligent cities. “Software has transformed industries –medicine, education, science, finance, manufacturing,” explains Steve Lewis, Living PlanIT’s co-founder and CEO. “And software will transform our cities to achieve their economic, social and environmental potential.”