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Thinking Cities Both Naberezhnykh and Anderson believe transport is the


key to the smart city. “Once we go though this initial phase to prove that they do work, that they do have a tangible benefit, then I think it will become something of a snowball effect” says TRL’s Naberezhnykh. “They’ll start taking off by them- selves but until then a lot of work needs to go in to under- standing them and showing that they can work.” “The traffic situation in a city has a great impact on its citi-


Travellers in London will soon be able to tap their credit cards on a reader to pay for a trip but how will long will it be before other European smart cities follow suit?


automatic vehicle location and smartphones and so on it really is possible to do this and measurably change the way our transportation networks are used.” Actually, though, Tip Franklin doesn’t think I should be


writing this as though it’s a new idea, the Thinking City has been around for a while, but ITS is late to the party: “We can’t be behind the power curve like we were in the early 90s when ITS was first emerging and we were the last people to the table. Now we are a full-blown partner because we gener- ate as much data that is used by other municipal services as they do for us”. Franklin thinks we’re in for a “tremendous explosion” of


utilisation of ITS. “The ability to get data out into the hands of people through smart phones, through all of the devices we now have available is going to make us a very, very inte- gral part of the day to day existence of our citizens.”


CONSUMER ELECTRONICS Humanes is keen to point out the importance of the potential for huge reductions in a city’s energy consumption – some- thing that the truly Thinking City will surely have high up on its list of priorities. “In terms of integrating transport with energy consump-


tion, if you have electric mobility as a significant element of what we are trying to do there are different needs for energy consumption and different necessities in terms of how do we provide for some of the modes. Do we actually need lighting in every single street or can we come up with more intel- ligent ways of lighting the city? Has daylight running now become standard, for example, in terms of public transport or bicycles that help to reduce energy consumption.. If we make more intelligent decisions regarding our mobility, in terms of time and modal choice, this will help reduce the demand for power in certain locations. Also the means of transport are more efficient in themselves. The Thinking City will be a more efficient and comfortable place to live in terms of movement.”


North America Vol 8 No 3


zens, visitors and businesses” agrees Anderson, “therefore I think it’s important to continuously aim to make it easy and as safe as possible to go from A to B. This will not only save valuable time and money but will make a greener city with less pollution and improve the reputation of the city.” Cubic’s Phil Silver points out that “every region will imple-


ment various platforms that make up next city and in the end have the benefits they want to have from it. There are a couple of ongoing implementations but probably the most significant at the moment is the Chicago Transit Authority that is implementing the platform components of next city for their bus and commuter bus system and expanding to other transportation modes thereafter.” As for interoperability, Silver insists that the age-old bug-


bear of the ITS sector won’t be an issue. While the technol- ogy is the same in different countries, the current hardware – the chip-enabled cards (such as Oyster or Opal) are not interoperable, and probably won’t be, but that doesn’t matter. “You will be able to use your credit card or your smart-


phone in both locations. Over the next year travellers in London will be able to tap their credit or debit card on the Oyster reader to use the transport system instead of their Oyster card if they choose to.” So, we in ITS are at the coalface of the future of cities. As


Nigel Weldon reminds me, “half of the word’s 7 billion popu- lation currently live in cities. In 2050 there’ll be 70 per cent of 9 billion; almost the entire current population of planet earth will be living in cities within 40 years.” Yet I realise in chatting to these experts that I’ve only


scratched the surface of an extremely complex and fascinat- ing subject. One that I can’t do justice to in a few pages of an ITS magazine. One that actually deserves its own magazine, podcasts, webinars and video programmes. Now, I wonder where people will be able to find those?


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 Paul Hutton is Head of H3B Media’s Broadcast Services Division


paul@h3bm.comhttp://thinkingcities.com


 Thinking Cities magazine will be launched at the Polis Annual Meeting in Brussels in December 2013


Register at http://www.polisnetwork.eu/events2/ polisconference/2013conference


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