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Smart Cities & Infrastructure

What We Cover

Smart city solutions are developed and delivered across five key segments, buildings and facilities, transportation systems, public services, resource management and infrastructure.  Harbor’s smart cities research encompasses buildings, transportation, energy, public safety and resources and services that enable and support the efficient flow of people, goods, resources and services within an urban context. Illustrative coverage areas include:

Infrastructure monitoring systems: Embedded sensors and systems can predict maintenance on infrastructure as well as gauge the use and wear of the infrastructure to help planning and future maintenance efforts.

Pedestrian and vehicle transportation systems: Using sensors and cameras to monitor roadway traffic, pedestrian traffic, and overall public safety of the flows of people, vehicles, and payloads.

Safety and security systems:  Aggregating street light cameras, surveillance cameras, and other inputs for means of monitoring for public safety and security functions.

Smart Cities & Infrastructure Research

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Harbor’s Smart Cities & Infrastructure Outlook

Smart city programs cannot be defined by a single “top down” approach or central organizing schema that sets pre-programmed limits. They will be defined by individual citizens, who are motivated to collaborate with each other — to create new use cases and applications that solve specific local problems.  Smart cities will be places that foster creativity, where citizens are generators of ideas, services and solutions, rather than subservient and passive recipients of them.  Lack of vision, incomplete alliance networks, along with technical barriers, have kept a range of technology suppliers from taking a more active and central role in smart city market development. 

An increasing number of cities are recognizing the value of user collaboration and are putting programs in place to foster smart systems innovation. Global cities are actively pursuing the convergence of smart information and communication technologies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government systems and services but are these investments and systems really enabling citizens?  We believe there is too much investment in infrastructure and not enough in collaboration, particularly with users and citizens.

Cities today are facing multiple parallel challenges, including:

Poor and Strained Physical  Infrastructure: power, water and traffic systems are most outdated and hinder health and economic development.

Fragmented City Operations: lack of integration among public departments and smart city initiatives.

Public Safety: crime detection and prevention in rapidly growing urban centers has been a significant challenge for strained law enforcement agencies.

ICT Infrastructure Challenges: today ICT architecture for smarter cities needs to be more flexible to handle multiple data types, usage and interactions – all in an interoperable manner.

Today’s cities are increasingly looking to use integrated city management “platforms” to leverage efficient urban information and interactions  and provide more effective public services, as well as innovative citizen applications to encourage participation.  Cities will need to find and collaborate with innovation partners for systems management and integration.  

Infrastructure Value Chain

Infra Value