Engerati’s Week in Smart Energy: blending old and new in smart cities

Smart cities - Paris tries to blend smart technology with historic buildings
Paris is one city that is trying to balance its architectural heritage with smart energy technology such as streetlights

A challenge facing many cities is how to install new smart infrastructure without impacting their historical character, writes Jonathan Spencer Jones, contributing editor to Engerati, the sister portal to Metering & Smart Energy International.

Look to Paris, which is the latest city to start to put in the backbone on its streetlights. [Paris Streetlights-The Start of a Smart City Network]

Not only does a streetlight renovation offer the opportunity to install energy efficient lighting, in itself a significant energy saver, but the widespread nature of street lighting also provides the opportunity to reach citywide with a “wireless canopy” as vendor Silver Spring Networks terms it.

And with their own power, streetlights also offer the opportunity to fit other infrastructure such as security cameras and even electric vehicle charging points. [Street Light Electric Vehicle Charging-A New Proposal from BMW]

Smart cities are coming, encompassing every aspect of city life from transport to healthcare and finance. In this evolving mosaic, energy is fundamental and will open up new, yet to be determined opportunities for all participants, both utilities and third party providers. So we need to be prepared and involved.

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