Squares in the city are places for meeting and recreation, also in the evening. This is why public squares are always illuminated. However, if the lamps are always on at full strength, they result in unnecessary light pollution and unnecessary energy consumption.
The Antwerp Smart Zone aims to provide the Sint-Andriesplaats with the best possible lighting for users. The “Smart lighting” project is testing a new system on the square.
- Movement and sound sensors illuminate the basketball court only when it is actually being used.
- When rain sensors identify reduced visibility, lamps at the edge of the square increase the light.
- Smart cameras that identify a resident who wants to cross the square at night provide extra light.
How does it work technically?
- All the sensors in the square receive signals. They send them wirelessly to a gateway.
- The gateway sends its information to a central computer via the internet.
- The computer analyses the situation on the square based on the data gathered from all the different sensors.
- This analysis activates the rules that control the lights on the square.
- These rules are sent to the cloud via the internet.
- A cloud platform then controls the lights.
Thanks to built-in sensors, the street lighting poles also serve as a weather station. Is there a red light ring displayed? Then it's probably best to pack a raincoat or umbrella because the forecast is predicting rain or snow within the hour.
For this project, we are collaborating with Nokia Bell Labs, Fluvius and Schréder.
Privacy within this project
The “Smart lighting” project uses camera images to control the square lighting. The images go to servers at Digipolis, the digital service of the city, via a secure channel. There, a computer program examines how many people are in the square and whether they are carrying out a certain activity such as exercising, running, walking or sitting.
The Antwerp Smart Zone is only interested in numbers, not in the identity of the people on the street. Anybody detected several times in the same frame is counted as a new individual each time. The system does not recognise people. When an employee checks the system, he/she only sees blurred faces.
Would you like to take part? Gladly!
Nobody knows our city better than those who live or work there. This is why the Antwerp Smart Zone wants to get ideas and insights from as many residents as possible, to work together to help make Antwerp even smarter.
Would you like to build it with us? Sure!
To build our smart city, the Antwerp Smart Zone prefers to work with entrepreneurs and scientists. Do you recognise these qualities in yourself? Then make sure to get in touch to experiment with us.