HOUSTON, Texas – Industrial software, systems and control equipment supplier Invensys has joined the new Smart Cities Council as an Associate Partner. The Council is comprised of leading global technology companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and others, working in partnership with advising experts from the world of research, academia and advocacy.
Urbanization is a global trend. More than 50% of people today live in cities, and according to the United Nations, the number is increasing. Urbanization poses significant short-term and long-term challenges to governments and municipalities, including retrofitting aging infrastructure, relieving traffic congestion, meeting energy demand, rising energy costs and more.
A "smart city" uses digital technology to deliver improved services to citizens. It uses smart software to create valuable information and digitally enhanced services from devices, sensors and systems. The information can be used by the city itself and/or made available via computer or smart phone to citizens, businesses or other information consumers.
"Invensys is proud to be a part of the growing global smart cities movement through the new Smart Cities Council," says Steve Garbrecht, vice president of software marketing for Invensys. "Our Wonderware software, including our human machine interface software, InTouch, is ideally suited for cities. It allows secure management of virtually any infrastructure system, like power, water, wastewater, transportation and other networks, from a single, integrated real-time platform. Our software lets cities use valuable information to make better, faster decisions and improve efficiency of small or city-wide applications."
Operating under the banner "Livability, Workability, Sustainability," the Council's goal is to accelerate the growth of smart cities worldwide by providing city leaders with tools and best practices. Mayors and other city leaders can tap into this global resource hub. Today, thousands of smart city projects are underway around the globe, yet cities have significant questions and challenges with regard to the four chief barriers to adoption: technology, financing, policy and citizen engagement. The Council was formed to lower these barriers through education, outreach and tools for cities.
One of the Council's first initiatives is the development of the comprehensive Readiness Guide, which will launch as a beta version at the 81st Annual United States Conference of Mayors in June. The Readiness Guide will be the first collaborative and comprehensive vision of a smart city, providing city leaders with a conceptual technology roadmap to address growth strategies in an effective and systemic way, focusing on key issues such as energy, transportation, water and public safety.
"These are areas that Invensys understands very well," Garbrecht said.