It's Street Furniture; It's a Smart Device

Street furniture like benches, garbage cans, and bike racks are found in every city. But not all street furniture is created equal—new technology is redefining street furniture as the smart devices that run efficient cities.
January 22, 2014, 12pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Mike Clay examines worldwide examples of cities “incorporating smart street furniture - that is more responsive to the public’s needs.”

Clay’s examples include bike counters that double as air pumps found in Copenhagen. Citing another European experience with bike counters, “[the] German Ministry of Transport sees bicycle counters as ‘visible proof of a dedicated effort to strengthen cycling’, and have become landmarks of Germany's cities.”

Another example is trash cans with built-in sensors: “bins can detect how full they are and call for collection only when it is needed.” The University of Washington has deployed another advancement of the traditional trash can: “Instead of wasting 61 percent of rubbish, the University of Washington introduced solar-powered kiosks that collect, compost, and recycle garbage.”

As future smart device that could improve the conditions of streets, Clay suggests implementing the water sensor technology currently saving water at farms around the world “into tree-pit irrigation systems [in cities] …saving water when needs be and alerting civic authorities when trees need watering.”

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Published on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 in Woodhouse
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