4 Reasons Germany Is Primed for Smart Cities
A 2017 survey by digital parking helper company EasyPark ranked the top 100 “smartest” cities in the world. Using metrics such as access to car sharing services, citizen participation, commitment to clean energy, and access to 4G internet, the group scored more than 500 urban centers across the world, coming up with the top 100.
Of those top 100 cities worldwide, Germany had 10 cities that made the cut, an impressive showing.
In the two years since that survey, German cities have continued to grow and find ways to improve life for their citizens, with more and more municipalities joining the ranks of “smart” cities. Here are the 4 reasons we think Germany is primed to see a boom in the growth of smart cities:
By 2025, Berlin hopes to have at least 200 e-buses on the city streets. These bright yellow buses run on electricity, but don’t need hours upon hours of charging each night before they go into service. Instead, the way these buses charge has been compared to the way an electric toothbrush charges: The bus charges as it moves along the streets thanks to special charging plates beneath the asphalt.
There currently are five e-buses on Berlin’s roads, but the planned rapid expansion means more residents and tourists each year will have access to public transportation run on clean, renewable energy. Having the technology and infrastructure already implemented in Germany’s largest city will make its expansion to other, smaller cities much easier in the future.
Germany is a hub for many large company headquarters. Big brands such as BMW, DHL, Aldi, and Bosch call German cities home.
With big business comes the opportunity for financial investment in the cities where those businesses are located. Not only do the businesses themselves bring financial resources to cities, but all the employees that are necessary for the smooth operation of headquarters have to find places to live, buy food and clothing, enroll their children in schools, and any other host of day-to-day activities.
Additionally, many of Germany’s biggest companies operate in industries that involve technology, such as telecommunications, automotive, shipping and logistics. Work in these industries is innovative and forward-thinking, often leading to developments that benefit the public and private sectors.
For example, improved telecommunications technology that is put to market is available for wider use. The developments make life better, easier, or more sustainable for the general population, improving quality of life.
Many German cities offer a wealth of history, beautiful scenery, and interesting experiences for tourists across the globe. Tourism in Germany as a whole has grown in the last two decades, with overall annual visits more than doubling between 1992 and 2017. In 2018 alone, Berlin saw 13.5 million visitors, making it the third most-visited city in all of Europe.
With those high numbers of tourists, paired with larger populations of residents, finding a solution that can keep people moving throughout the cities, accessing the information and resources they need, and also making life affordable for everyone is a necessity. Smart city technology can help improve public transportation routes, provide access to clean energy, open up wireless internet to people who may not otherwise have access, and make navigating the city much easier.
Large Energy Consumers
The larger a city is, the more carbon monoxide it puts out. Germany has four cities with more than 1 million residents, which means a lot of carbon monoxide emissions, pollution, and energy use.
In 2016, when Germany signed onto the Paris Climate Agreement, it vowed to reduce its overall carbon emissions by 2.5 percent no later than 2035. These reductions mean that Germany needs to find ways to curb its emissions, especially in its largest cities.
Through a combination of creating smarter public transportation and ride-sharing opportunities, working with individual consumers to decrease their personal energy usage, and exploring and implementing sustainable energy production and use, the country can work toward its goal.
Smart city technology can help Germany reach these targets in a variety of ways.
Sensors placed on traffic lights and in parking spaces can improve the flow of traffic for decreased energy use, and also help city leaders optimize public transportation routes to make the use of buses and trains more attractive for daily commuting. Access to wireless internet and apps that show real-time in-home energy consumption can train residents to make more environmentally friendly choices in their homes.
And creating city-wide solar, wind, or water power stations that can be used to offset or replace traditional energy sources means more people will be able to utilize sustainable energy in their everyday lives.
Smart City Management Made Easy
At @Assist, we believe that every city can become a smart city with the right tools. That’s why we created Tomo, our smart city management platform.
From city leaders down to individual citizens, Tomo provides a seamless experience, helping make everyday city life more efficient, affordable, sustainable, and enjoyable. Learn more today!