Improving Air and Water Quality in Smart Cities

This is the fourth and final installment (#4 of 4) of the - Smart Cities Tech Innovation Series

To view more posts within the series click here: Smart Cities Series

In this blog series, we've been looking at the ways in which Intel’s smart cities initiatives are using the Internet of Things (IoT) to address the challenges faced by growing cities.

We first covered smart security, one of the most important areas of IoT technology for city authorities policing events and managing crowds. Then we looked at how Intel is implementing smart transport to alleviate congestion and improve traffic flow, which is especially important for emergency services routing. In this final post, we cover a topic that goes hand in hand with the issues of overcrowding and congestion in densely populated urban areas: the challenge of minimizing pollution and improving air and water quality in our cities.

There are many regions today where pollution is a well-documented problem. In China, for example, blankets of smog are a familiar sight over its metropolises. In New Zealand, water quality is a growing concern, with fresh water supplies susceptible to pollutants such as sediment and pathogens.  Furthermore, regulations have been introduced to limit the use of wood burners, which releases polluting particles into the air.

While identifying pollution problems is the easy part, taking a timely and informed action to improve air and water quality is the real challenge that local authorities face.

Intel has invested in smart city initiatives to build end-to-end solutions that utilize a full range of IoT tools.  City authorities can now monitor pollution levels by analyzing sensor data and automating real-time responses to the changing environment – all from a single management system.

The recent investment made in the London-based Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities is helping lay the technological foundations for smart cities. For example, connected solutions can deliver greater efficiencies in cities like London where old utilities infrastructure is difficult to maintain. Systems that account for local water demand, combined with up-to-date weather data, enable authorities to adapt their water systems accordingly.  As a result, this increases the lifetime of the infrastructure while minimizing the risk of leaks, flooding or contamination.

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In cities like Dublin, Ireland, Intel is working on several pilot programs to improve air quality.  These initiatives have the potential to connect the full spectrum of devices through the IoT.  Just imagine, when an individual with asthma is planning her morning jog, she can now use an app to find a route with the best air quality.  If pollution levels rise along the way, an alert can be triggered and a new route can be automatically suggested – all this from a handheld device!

In addition to the tools and technology that power the IoT, education will be crucial to the continued success of these programs. We at Intel are committed for the long term and know that even the best smart city solutions are only effective with the proper support before, during and after implementation. From training city authorities to make the most of their water management systems, to getting children involved on the ground, like in Christchurch, New Zealand, where school pupils conducted water quality tests on the Avon River, our focus is to provide the adequate support.

As our cities grow, so too does our responsibility to deal with the mounting pressures of more people, traffic and pollution. That’s the challenge Intel is helping city leaders to address through smart cities initiatives.  Let’s continue to work together to build more efficient and well-connected management systems for the smart cities of the future. After all, protecting our environment, safety and overall well-being is just the smart thing to do.

To continue the conversation, let's connect on Twitter @DawnOlsen

Dawn Olsen

Global Sales Director

Government Enterprise, Intel


This is the fourth and final installment (#4 of 4) of the - Smart Cities Tech Innovation Series

To view more posts within the series click here: Smart Cities Series