The City of Antwerp is transforming into a Smart City

Antwerp will become the first Smart City of Flanders and is also playing a pioneering role on the European level. The city aims to devise solutions for societal challenges such as mobility, safety and sustainability with smart technology. An overview of projects in which Antwerp has taken the lead.

Europe’s largest smart zone

The city of Antwerp has partnered with the research and innovation centre “imec” to launch the largest European smart technology laboratory. The project is part of the Smart Flanders programme in which the city plays a pioneering role. The decision was made to limit the laboratory’s geographical focus to a smart zone, in which IoT experiments and testing will be carried in co-creation with stakeholders such as the local community, traders and students.

The city will install sensors that collect data and connect everything to the Internet. Sensors in rubbish bins, for example, will monitor when it is time for the garbage truck to come and empty the bins. Chips in the water mains and sewage system will analyse water quality and will warn about potential flooding. Sensors on Bpost’s delivery vans measure air quality.

In the framework of the ‘City of Things’, the project will also focus on ‘Smart Mobility’, across the city’s entire geographical area as part of the “Slim naar Antwerpen” project. This will be coordinated with the smart zone. Smart traffic lights will be installed among others, which can switch to green or red depending on the traffic situation.

Inter-university programme on the Internet of Things

The new inter-university programme on the Internet of Things was developed to respond to the need for technological knowledge profiles for tomorrow’s society and economy. The programme kicked off this academic year. The University of Antwerp developed this modular post-graduate programme in partnership with Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University. Industry partners are also supporting the project, in anticipation of the IoT revolution.

CITADEL, improving public service

Tapping into its expertise, the City of Antwerp plays a pioneering role in CITADEL, a project of the Horizon 2020 European framework programme for research and innovation. The objective of this project is to develop a digital ecosystem that helps authorities improve their services with information and communication technologies.

Besides Antwerp, three other public authorities are involved in the project, from Italy, Latvia and the Netherlands respectively. They receive assistance from partners in the technological industry and academic partners. Every public authority will develop a use case so the platform can be tested in practice. The City of Antwerp’s use case consists of developing an improvement strategy for the user environment of the e-counter.

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