7 Cities Using Smart Technology In Unusual Ways

Taken from here.
Rio Operations Center

New technologies like big data, sensors, mobile, smart grids are changing the way cities operate.
Cities want to help you find parking spaces, avoid traffic jams, get instant help when emergencies happen.
Some cities are really leading the charge with super cool projects that show just how wonderful city life can be.

Rio de Janeiro watches all in real time

Rio built the "Rio Operations Center" to monitor events in the city in real time. The center was initially created to monitor the weather, so city officials could react faster to floods.
But it's also used to monitor any emergency event. It can spot a medical emergency on Copacabana beach and a traffic accident keeping soccer fans from Maracana stadium.

Hamburg port uses mobile apps and virtual fences

Hamburg’s port will soon be handling 25 million containers annually. All of that shipping is causing problems. Truckers spend about half of their time waiting at the terminal for an open space where they can load their cargo.
The port is using new "geofencing" tech to help. A geofence is a virtual perimeter that shows up on an app. Truckers get a mobile device that plots their location and directs them to open loading docks more quickly.
It also allows them to make mobile payments, so they don't need to leave their trucks to take care of financial transactions.

San Francisco offers free EV charging stations

San Francisco provides its citizens with lots of smart projects. One of the best is a bunch of city-owned electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
There are three “showcase” chargers in front of City Hall, 26 stations in 12 city-owned, public parking facilities and 23 more at the airport and on Treasure Island.
The city promises that there will be no cost to use them through 2013.

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