Scaling Up Sensor-Based Smart Cities Proves Difficult
As Santander, Rio and other cities have demonstrated, sensor-based solutions have the potential to impact a broad range of urban issues, from traffic and transportation to energy, public safety and the environment. Less understood is the value of some of the other projects that have been rolled out around the world. For example, one of Santander’s test-bed projects involves sensors embedded in the city’s gardens to detect soil humidity and enable more efficient watering of the grass, flowers and plants.
But as Jennifer Belissent, a principal analyst with Forrester Research pointed out, unemployment in Spain is more than 25 percent and for the country’s young adults, the rate exceeds 50 percent. “Do we really need water sensors in the city park when it may be more cost efficient and socially more important to give the person a job to do the same work?” she asked.
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