Informally, smart can be defined as “having or showing a quick-witted intelligence” and in the case of smart city initiatives, this intelligence is characterized by the capability for independent action. Smart builds respond and react to their environments - and importantly, must be able to evolve with it.
Furthermore, although smart cities feature a high degree of automation, most systems are not yet at the stage where they can repair and maintain themselves without human intervention.
This is especially true in asset intensive sectors. That is to say, sectors with a large number of moving parts - like energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, aerospace, transportation and construction – are still a long way from being self-sustaining/autonomous.
After all, once a smart city has been built, the hard work isn’t over. It has to stand up to the biggest challenge it will face: people. The strain of running transport systems, the pressure of a population that is constantly changing, and the challenge of the unexpected can test the flexibility and learning ability of machines. Many urban sectors need multiple assets to continuously perform at a high level in order to operate efficiently and this still requires ongoing support and maintenance from human populations.
This is why it is vital to have a transparent dashboard which can keep track of the systems which are in place, when they need updating, maintaining or repairing. Post-build visibility into performance is vital to ensuring not only the longevity of assets but also for compliance, safety and financial tracking. Integration with smart meters for monitoring performance of a smart city initiatives means that maintenance events can be automatically triggered, and there is sufficient data capture to ensure that downtime disruption is minimized.
Being able to manage and share maintenance schedules efficiently provides proof points for demonstrating the ROI of a smart city project to investors, and simplifies planning budgets.
A well monitored ‘smart city’ maintenance system – asset intensive or not - means that teams can look at trends, improvements and analysis rather than getting bogged down in detail that doesn’t need immediate attention.. It is only by having this monitoring and management in place that smart cities really deliver on their promises, empowering citizens, improving resource consumption and proving their worth to investors.
Oracle Primavera’s SMART City Projects solution helps cities manage these challenges using modern collaborative, social and mobile tools, backed with disciplined project management and analytical applications at the core. To find out more, read our solution brief here.
This post was authored by Werner Maritz, director, public sector and infrastructure strategy, Oracle Construction and Engineering