Up to date, a total of approximately 50 sensors have been deployed through the Campus, providing basic information about environment – and people activity through the campus.
The data collected by the sensors are stored and processed by means of a dedicated storage and computing infrastructure located in the computer center of the Department of Telematics System Engineering (DIT), at the School of Telecommunication Engineering (ETSI Telecomunicacion).
A team of three graduate students (Carlos Moreno, Marta Martín and Jaime vegas), led by professor Manuel Alvarez-Campana, has collaborated in the design and implementation of the platform. This includes a preliminary version of a web based Dashboard, still under development, which provides a graphical representation of the results generated by the platform, as well as monitoring and supervision facilities for the sensor networks.
Students involved in the deployment of the Moncloa Smart City Platform participated in the TADHack 2015 international hackaton celebrated on 13-14 June 2015, where they presented the main features of the platform and its dashboard. Its participation in the hackaton was a success and they were awarded one a prizes by Intel, one of the main sponsors of the event.
Malaga becomes the first Spanish city to accept UPM’s challenge on using ICT as a tool for inclusive noise management to reduce the health impact of noise pollution.
UPM’s Research Group in Instrumentation and Applied Acustics at UPM is supporting Vatia Energia in developing a first project which will permit to deploy a basic infrastructure consisting in a sensor network, and a web based front-end optimized for mobile access. The platform will connect all stakeholders (citizens, municipality, associations, and business owners) offering comprehensive information on noise levels and a communication link between them.
The conference brings together academics, policy makers, industry analysts, providers and practitioners to present and discuss their findings. In adition, several students of the UPM’s Master on City Sciences (MCS) will be presenting the following posters and papers at the conference:
The study “Atlas of vulnerable neighborhoods of Spain”, recently published, has been developed by the Urban Planning Department of the Institute Juan de Herrera at UPM and the Spanish Ministry of Development. The study contains the statistical summary of national values, as well as the corresponding ones for cities of over 50,000 inhabitants.
For further information, f0llow this link.
The proposal presented by Malaga based company Vatia Energia in cooperation with UPM’s Instrumentation and Applied Acoustics Research Group has won the First Call for Ideas of the Innpulso Network.
Red Innpulso is a network of Spanish cities promoted by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness which comprises 56 citys in three categories: 13 small cities; 21 medium size cities; and 22 big cities.
The first call received more than 80 project proposals, which were evaluated by the cities to determine the most innovative ones. UPM’s proposal presenting an idea to use ICT as a tool for Inclusive Noise Management to Reduce Health Impacts was one of them.
Prizes were given last Abril at the CNIS Conference. CNIS is the national conference for innovation and public services.
UPM’s Instrumentation and Applied Acoustics Research Group is leading a research initiative to explore the effectiveness of inclusive management policies to reduce the health impact of noise pollution.
The World Health Organization considers noise as the second most important pollutant in our society, affecting about 20% of EU citizens, with an estimated cost of 0,35% of its GDP (that’s around € 40 billion a year!).
It’s a known problem in our cities, which affects us in our daily activities at school, at work, at home and during leisure time. And although we usually underestimate it as a health threat, it can have severe impacts on our health, such as: cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects, hearing impairment, reduce performance, and provoke annoyance responses and changes in social behaviour.
Lots of efforts are being put in reducing citizen’s noise exposure, in many cases through regulations. But the efficiency of these policies is sometimes questioned, as citizens do not feel necessarily involved.
As citizens we are not only victims of noise, but a key part of the problem, so we need to be involved. It’s a tricky thing, as many of the activities that produce that noise which affects us, are also related to economic growth.
The aim of this study is to use ICT as a means to reducing the health impacts of noise by increasing citizen awareness though more efficient policy making. Figure 1 summarizes the new Policy making 3.0 model (applied to noise management) that is highly dependent on the development of ICTs and social media, and tries to gain the participation and involvement of citizens and stakeholders in the solution of citizen’s demands.
Annoyance, which could be thought of as trivial, can in fact lead to anger, stress and exhaustion and, because of the large number of individuals affected, is estimated to be the second most important cause of health impacts due to environmental noise. If we reduce annoyance, and we increase citizen’s awareness, we should reduce the health impact of noise pollution.
Annoyance is the most documented subjective response to noise, it being defined “as a feeling of resentment, displeasure, discomfort, dissatisfaction or offence which occurs when noise interferes with thoughts, feelings or activities”.
Research on annoyance started in the 1970s, and for decades it has been one of the main topics regarding environmental acoustics, especially in residential areas near transport infrastructures. But, while many studies have focused on trying to establish the correlation between sound level metrics and the adverse reaction of the population, the effect of non-acoustic factors on the annoyance response has recently emerged as a hot topic in international transport research groups.
The state of the art has shown that non-acoustic factors are important, but has not yet reached any definitive conclusions as to which of them are likely to be the most important in any different situations. Furthermore, very recent qualitative research using focus groups and in-depth interviews has found that the information provided by transport managers and industry to the public with the aim of reducing annoyance, e.g. noise contours, can often be perceived as overly technical, poorly understood, counter-intuitive and inconsistent with subjective experience.
In this project we address a novel approach, under research, that explores the possibility to take advantage of those non-acoustic factors related to awareness in noise management and the mitigation of noise effects.
Awareness comprises several non-acoustic factors pointed out previously, as affecting annoyance: information (accessibility, transparency and understanding), trust, influence/voice, attitude towards the source, predictability of the noise situation, awareness of negative effects, interaction of stakeholders, and engagement. The research project that we are starting aims to obtain knowledge regarding this awareness factor, analyse its influence, and take advantage of it to mitigate annoyance.
This is an approach that has not been exploited in depth in the past, and that is closely linked to the rise in information and communication technologies. It does not imply the reduction of noise emissions either at the source or in the path, and it will not replace traditional noise mitigation methods aimed at reducing or shaping exposure, but it can be managed together with these other noise control measures, complementing them with the subjective response of the community. The goal of this initiative is to reduce noise annoyance by exploring the hypothesis that “bringing information closer to citizens will reduce noise annoyance”, and trying to answer the following question: How does awareness influence noise annoyance? To what extent can communication or other non-acoustic measures modify awareness in order to help residents to cope with noise?
This approach is particularly necessary in today’s technologized world, where the irruption of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and social media give voice to citizens, creating wider audiences, and opening the possibility to create debates on any topic on any geographical scale.
Traffic jams prediction
Traffic jams are a major issue in cities that have several economic, environmental and social externalities. Nowadays, a number of large and small companies are providing sets of solutions to traffic problems using real time information, but it is still not possible to predict the difficulties in advance in order to have more time to plan alternative routes.
Federal University of Minas Gerais and Microsoft are working together in the Traffic Prediction Project. The project aims to develop a reliable predictive solution regarding traffic jams. For this purpose, data such as historical numbers, driver´s social networks, transportation departments and Microsoft´s Bing traffic maps will be gathered and analyzed. It will allow the entities involved to figure out the possibility of the prediction of traffic jams from 15 to 60 minutes in advance.
Cycling difficulties in cities
Image: Ursula Bach. www.visitcopenhagen.dk
Cities are making a great effort to foster cycling in order to achieve a better and more sustainable urban environment. But there are still many gaps to cover and different solutions are being developed at the moment.
Rankings are being developed in order to benchmark the top bike-friendly city, based on the number of cyclists who commute to work, the number of bicycling fatalities and funds allocated for bike/pedestrian projects. But sometimes it also exists a gap between reality and statistics. Cyclists and other fonts report the inefficiency of the network of bike lanes and sharrows (shared-lane markings) that bike commuters deal with everyday in some of the cities that have been reported as the most bike-friendly in rankings.
Different initiatives are being developed to fill the gaps in the cycling network. One example is the elevated cycle bridges that are being planned and developed by cities like London and Copenhaguen. It is discussed if they are the best alternative, but solutions must be provided to avoid bike lanes to nowhere.
Self-driving cars will not solve traffic congestion problems…soon.
The common use of self-driving cars is expected to solve many of the traffic problems that cities are currently facing. But self-driving cars will not be as much a common place in the following years as some think. This is one of the conclusions that can be extracted from the IBM´s Report “Automotive 2025: Industry without borders”. The elaboration of this report implied interviews to 175 executives from automobile manufacturers, as well as suppliers and other stakeholders involved in mobility in 21 countries. The report highlights three primary disruptors of the market –consumers, mobility and the ecosystem, that are causing industry boundaries to blur and, as they suggest, even to disappear.
Smart fleet services in Qatar
Smart solutions are also being introduced in any type of company that has a fleet of vehicles, whether they operate in the services sector, transport and logistics, passenger transportation or construction.
This is the case of the Ooredoo “Smart Fleet” solution, which provides an innovative cloud based service and deploys GPS and GSM technology to centralize and manage all transport related information. It allows companies to plan fleet activities, reduce operational costs and optimize resources.
The main benefit expected for the city will be a reduction of traffic congestion, but it is also aimed to boost the knowledge-based economy objectives aligned with the Qatar National Vision 2030.
UPM has recently become a Main Member of the EIT-Health Spain node, one of the six local nodes of the the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s “Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC)” for healthy living and active aging (EIT Health). EIT Health Spain, consists of 25 institutions – universities, research centres, hospitals and technology-leaders – and is committed to innovations in health and improving the quality of life of citizens.
EIT-Health is a consortium comprising a total of 144 leading corporations, universities and research centres in fourteen European countries. With a total budget of €2,100m, it is one of the most ambitious initiatives in the field of publicly funded health. Until the end of 2016, the consortium expects to generate about eighty new business ideas, reaching 140 in 2018. It is expected to generate about seventy start-ups per year and involve one million students in its various training programmes.
The goal of EIT Health is to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of European industry, improve the quality of life of Europe’s citizens and the sustainability of healthcare system.
The partnership will promote entrepreneurship and develop innovations in healthy living and active ageing, providing Europe with new opportunities and resources. This will be achieved through delivering products, concepts and services, including educational programmes that will nurture talents and train the workforce of tomorrow.
Adopting an investor approach, EIT Health will drive the integration of business; research and higher education, boost innovation, and be a catalyst for new solutions for Europe.
EIT Health will overcome the fragmentation of different healthcare systems in Europe and give companies easier access to markets across the EU. The critical mass of partners from business and industry, education, research, healthcare providers and insurance companies within EIT Health, opens the path to reduced time-to-market for added-value products and services.
EIT Health outreach activities are expected to spread all over Europe – establishing new ties to expand innovation and growth.
EIT Health aims to, among others:
EIT-Health has nodes in Spain, France, UK, Belgium, Sweden and Germany.