Illuminating Engineering Society -- There was a time when planters hanging from light poles or signage affixed to brackets to promote next weekend’s farmer’s market constituted innovation in street lighting. Today, in the age of connectivity, streetlights have gotten much smarter. As cities hope to leverage the power of big data to better manage resources, streetlights outfitted with sensors are being used by municipalities to manage traffic flow, deliver audio messages and even detect gun shots.
Three case studies, one from each coast of the U.S. plus another from the Land Down Under, show what smart cities are up to.
The initiative is named “Syracuse Surge”—an ironic moniker considering that energy use will go down thanks to a network of smart streetlights. As for the “surge,” the city is banking on a $200 million investment in technology to make Syracuse New York State’s flagship smart city and a model for other municipalities hoping to leverage data to spur both economic development and better day-to-day operations.