Switzerland has a high level of urbanisation, as there, three out of four people live in cities. The cities and service providers are faced with great economic, technical, social, and political challenges:
- Strong increase in mobility with modest growth in transport infrastructure
- Energy supply with increasing electrification in a liberalised energy market
- Implementation of energy strategy 2050 and reduction in CO2 emissions
- Aging population Increased competition between cities
- Dense construction and population growth
- Resource scarcity
- Increased digitisation and need for new wireless networking
- Convergence of networks and multi-functionality of devices
- Exponential growth of data and the challenges in using this data meaningfully, securing it, and regulating it under the law
Smart City technology can make a significant contribution to solving many of these problems, as the advent of Internet of Things (IoT) opened unprecedented opportunities, also in the public sector. IoT can equip objects with sensors and transmit the collected data wirelessly in real time to IT systems. This allows for a better decision-making foundation or for automatic machine to machine control (M2M).
According to the Bundesamt für Energie (BFE) [Swiss Federal Office of Energy], a Smart City offers its residents maximum quality of life with minimal resource consumption. This is achieved through intelligent linking of infrastructure systems (transport, energy, communication) at various hierarchical levels (city, district, building).
The potential of a Smart City, however, first unfolds in a cooperative network of relationships between city administration, citizens, business, science and politics. This is the starting point of SmartSuisse, to build a national B2B platform and promote cooperation among the stakeholders.