Creating a Sustainable Future through Smart Infrastructure

The need for sustainable and resilient infrastructure has never been greater. With smart infrastructure, we’re creating an ecosystem that connects the physical world with the digital world. Data-driven decision making empowers customers to make energy systems and processes in buildings and industries more efficient and sustainable. We’re transforming the ordinary to create a better tomorrow.

IoT (Internet of Things) has changed the landscape of connectivity. It’s no longer limited to computers and mobile devices, but can be found in everyday items like televisions, watches, alarm clocks, and cars. This is a unique opportunity to use technology to improve our lives. IoT plays a critical role in developing smart infrastructure for cities to benefit from the advantages of being smart. Increasingly, companies and institutions are implementing these infrastructures to improve citizens’ lives. The global market for smart cities is expected to reach 1.56 billion dollars by 2025.

What is Smart Infrastructure?

Smart infrastructure can be defined as a cyber-physical system that integrates all its components through technology tools to analyze data and meet efficiency, sustainability, productivity, and safety goals. The Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK further defines it as a smart system that uses a data feedback loop to improve decision making. It monitors, measures, analyzes, communicates and acts on data collected by sensors. Smart infrastructure is not just physical (cabling, sensors, etc.), but also based on four principles: data, analytics, feedback, and adaptability.

Types of Smart Infrastructures Smart city infrastructures can be divided based on human participation in decision making. Based on control or automation level, the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK categorizes them into semi-intelligent, intelligent, and smart.

Semi-Intelligent: Collects data but has no decision-making ability. Examples are pollution maps or traffic maps.

Intelligent: Collects data to process and present information to help humans make decisions. An example is a traffic system that detects heavy traffic and informs drivers.

Smart: Collects data, processes information, takes action autonomously, adapts to changing conditions. Examples are smart networks, smart buildings, smart public infrastructure, and smart beaches.

Smart Networks: Efficiently incorporate behavior and actions of all connected users for a high-quality and safe supply. Example is an automated and integrated high-voltage energy transmission network. Smart Buildings: Advanced installation and technology systems for automation of internal processes, such as heating, ventilation, lighting, security, and more. Smart Public Infrastructure: Electronic devices that transmit information to improve their own functioning or behavior of related systems. Smart Beaches: Projects like Telefonica’s in Spain use sensors, drones, smart parking, and traffic lights to provide real-time information and improve beach experiences.