Is Halifax Becoming a Smart City?

For quite a number of years now, Halifax has tried to adhere to all technological innovations in order to become a smart city. From investments to create a connected infrastructure to the implementation of surveillance projects, there have been plenty of improvements. So why do cities want to become ‘smart’? That is because a smart city has less of an impact on the environment, minimises its effects on climate change, and can provide an overall higher quality for its citizens.

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What Is a Smart City?

The notion of a smart city has taken our society by storm and a lot of us are still wondering what it even means. Besides the obvious explanation, which involves technology and modernisation, there is a lot more to a smart city than that. A smart city should use its technological resources and collective data in order to optimise its efficiency and to improve community services, such as transportation, utilities, waste management, hospitals, education and much more.

The main technology behind a smart city is Artificial Intelligence. AI enables smart solutions to be implemented in the infrastructure of a city through the use of IoT (internet of things) and ICT (information and communication technology). The city would then be able to control the traffic, to regulate waste better, to detect crimes, as well as make future predictions in terms of energy consumption and pollution risks.

AI, however, is the main driving force behind plenty of other industries and the possibilities that this technology has brought are endless. For many entertainment sectors, such as iGaming, AI has helped personalise customer experiences by allowing operators to track their preferences and analyse their behaviours. Operators were able to launch different types of bonuses customised for each player thanks to AI and are able to predict what they need to ensure they stay for as long as possible.

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What Improvements Has Halifax Made?

One of the innovative technologies implemented in the city of Halifax, and powered by AI, is smart urban lighting. Back in 2015, Silver Spring Networks installed 43,000 LED luminaires and a vision control software that monitors and controls public lighting remotely. This type of platform is not only beneficial for the environment, but it also allows the city to manage its electric systems more efficiently, therefore enhancing safety. Moreover, other smart applications can be integrated into this platform later on.

Halifax has been eager to achieve its goal of being named one of Canada’s smart cities for quite some time and, in 2019, the city participated in the Government-organised Smart Cities Challenge. The purpose of this challenge was to gather the best projects that address the needs of local communities and actively show how certain changes could improve their lives. For this challenge, Halifax addressed its food insecurity issues and presented a project that involved a supply chain management platform that would better connect distributors with food suppliers and the local food scene.

The primary reason cities want to adopt smart technology is to enhance the quality of life and create a sustainable community that doesn’t harm the planet. Recently, Halifax has grown tremendously in terms of natural resources and technology adoption, but it still has a few boxes to tick before it gets recognised as a smart city. The goal however is not that far off.

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