Smart City Projects Rio
Being chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games and some of the most important matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the second largest city in Brazil faced tremendous challenges to increase the security of its streets and establish a reliable monitoring system to assure unpredictable weather conditions were handled with the proper measures by local authorities.
Smart city initiatives in Rio de Janeiro largely center on safety and security, both in terms of disaster prevention and management, and freedom of information.
Center of Operations
Originally planned for the Olympics in 2016, a fatal landslide in 2010 prompted Rio’s mayor to bring forward the construction of a Center of Operations to tackle natural disasters and coordinate relevant emergency responses.
The center was built in just 8 months in partnership with IBM and Oracle, and is used by city decision makers to manage day-to-day city services as well as for the aforementioned purposes.
The center additionally allows these two types of service to be linked
- For example, garbage trucks are coordinated via GPS so that, in an emergency, these trucks can be re-purposed for other tasks, improving response times for the city.
- The center receives video feeds from over 500 surveillance cameras installed in the city and houses 30 departments from the local government.
These offices, that include traffic surveillance, security, weather forecasting, electricity and gas providers, exchange data amongst themselves to increase the efficiency of their services.
Floodings – 0 casualties
In 2012, during the months of heavy rainfall, actions coordinated by the Center of Operations helped ensure zero casualties related to floods or landslides.
Reports from that year also indicate that the interchange of intelligence between the city’s departments promoted a 25% decrease in the time taken to respond to traffic accidents.
The combined benefits of this project enabled Rio de Janeiro to be awarded the title of the leading smart city in the world during the 2013 Smart City Expo World Congress.
Another initiative by Rio de Janeiro’s authorities designed to facilitate the population’s access to government services was the creation of a portal called Central 1746 in 2011. The name refers to the phone number locals can call in order to request a number of services from the city’s government such as waste removal, repair of damaged roads and walkways and also report witnessed illegal activity. These requests can also be posted on the Central’s website.
To facilitate the flow of information, there is a press room located within the Center of Operations, where all media, television, and radio companies are accommodated also. In addition to enabling these more traditional information networks, the city has also made a significant amount of its data available to the public, including information on crime and mortality rates, as well as daily weather and congestion reports.
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