• GIV Editorial Board

"There is no unequivocal definition of what a wise city is - and perhaps it is a good thing"

Updated: Jun 10, 2019

"There is no accepted definition of what a smart city is - each city focuses on the city's strength, and Tel Aviv has put on the banner of residents' involvement and personal attention to each resident, Garbage disposal and more. " "Said Leora Schechter, director of information systems at the Tel Aviv municipality.


Schechter spoke at the "Internet of Things" event, IoT.con. The conference, produced by people and computers, took place recently at the LAGO events hall in Rishon Letzion. The conference was hosted by Leopard Leopard, entrepreneur, and leader of people and computers, Yehuda Konfortes, the group's editor-in-chief, and Ilan Alter, CEO of AlterNet.


From right to left: Liora Schechter, Director of Information Systems of the Tel Aviv Municipality; Uri Ben Ari, an expert on smart cities and social entrepreneur; Shlomi Ashkenazi, CEO, GreenQ, Eyal Feder, CEO, ZenCity; Ilan Alter, CEO of Alter, and Meir Givon, CEO of Giv Solutions. Photo: Niv Kantor

Shechter gave several examples of the Internet's use of things to transform Tel Aviv into a smart city. "We know how many bicycles we have at every Thalufen point, and how many parking spaces are available in the parking lots, providing the service to the residents in real time, and encouraging start-ups to build applications that will improve the service to the residents through the data we transmit."


"The same is true of the traffic light system - it is mechanized, based on cameras, sensors that count traffic on the main streets, and this allows us to better manage the traffic lights. We connected to Waze and we know at every point what the load is in the city. We will analyze and find permanent patterns to deal with them. We develop most of the systems internally, so we can connect a sensor to all possible systems. "


A complex system that requires complex management

According to Eyal Feder, CEO of ZenCity, one of the companies that won the tender to turn Tel Aviv into a smart city, "What makes the city complex is complex management, is the human factor. When talking about the Internet it is very important to talk about the connection between the sensors and the people. In a sense, when we look at cities, the most deployed network of sensors is people. Almost everyone has smartphones. The sensor network of smartphones can provide us with information. "


"The second thing that is needed in a smart city is that the platforms not only provide information but also create interaction," Feder adds.


Shlomi Ashkenazi, CEO of GreenQ, described the garbage collection system using sensors installed on the trucks: "We collect information on the production of garbage, so we can direct garbage collection and streamline the information so as not to come to the building. We are making the truck smarter because it is much more practical than putting sensors on 70,000 cans in the city. The municipality operates 76 trucks and this can be done through the regular process of replacing the fleet of trucks. "


Uri Ben Ari, an expert on smart cities and a social entrepreneur, says in reply to Alter's question: "A smart city is the luxury of the 15 strongest cities because every city must be a smart city." "Slowly, a protocol connects smart cities that can be measured by indices."


Ben-Ari explains that "the common mistake is that it is generally accepted that a mayor transfers to the deputy director general and relates to the city of wisdom as a project, not as a substance. The reference to a smart city should be a substance that combines all the elements and uses ICT technology to make it more efficient to improve the environment and preserve sustainability. "


Smart city strategies

According to Ben-Ari, "there are main characteristics below 60-90 sub-indices: Every mayor must know that he is an organization director, he has to take care of the residents, each of the residents is a customer and they do not think about it. It has strategies for a smart city and I'm glad it can be implemented. "We're talking about clear metrics that result in satisfied citizens with low operating costs, and local authorities in budgetary distress can focus on something like transportation management.


"Cities become smart when you come to buy a car, for example - you will not buy a car with a radio and a tape, but you will buy a car with 2016 means," explains Ben Ari. "The same goes for lighting poles, traffic lights and more, necessarily the wisdom enters the entire city. The challenge is to develop an application where the lighting poles can talk to garbage cans. About Forum 15. The costs to a smart city are very high and I do not see large cities in our country that can take it upon themselves. But you have to remember that 20 years ago, CRM costs were expensive and system entry was low. Today's price is much lower and penetration is significant. I think it will also happen in smart cities. "


"The cities are being built for many years and the replacement of infrastructures takes a long time, so we bring systems that are dressing on the existing systems, and there is another challenge - the understanding that a smart city should be a commodity," Ashkenazi said. Can integrate and connect systems, we need to focus on the level of suppliers. "


Meir Givon, CEO of GIV Solutions, said: "The solution is a platform that enables every industry engaged in it to handle the value chain from the collection of data from all sources - technological and human, filters that remove the junk. The sensors are flooded with information that requires filtering and should be examined within tolerances with proactive behavior that determine what to do with each type of signal and what process and what the message is at the end. Logistic and financial work processes, as well as BI, should be implemented, including reverse analysis for continuous improvement. "

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