Smart cities to play a crucial role in climate protection

Climate change, and the consequences this has for the entire planet, is one of the biggest challenges we face today. Rising temperatures, extreme weather events and threats to the very existence of some communities mean that action has to be taken now. Deutsche Telekom is playing a significant role here - we’re involved in global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, and are heavily engaged in the transformation of cities through “smart solutions” to tackle the environmental impact of rising urban populations. We’re also proud to be one of the main partners for the UN climate change conference in Bonn, where many of these issues will be discussed in the coming days.

More than 20,000 climate protection advocates are expected to participate in the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 23), which runs from 6th to 17th November 2017. As technical host of the event, and the partner responsible for Internet and mobile communications provision, in a few short months we erected temporary structures covering a total area of 45,000 sqm in Rheinaue Park in Bonn and installed a 50km fibre-optic network and eight additional cellular antennas.

COP 23 also has the objective of organising a conference that is as greenhouse gas-neutral as possible, where mostly vegetarian food is served and waste production is kept to a minimum. In addition, the Rheinaue Park will be restored back to its former state once the conference is over. We took special care to avoid damaging any tree roots and flower beds when laying the fibre optic cables. The newly laid underground cable network will also remain in place for use by future events.

Protecting our climate for future generations
The sustainability of cities will of course feature heavily during talks at COP 23. Considering UN estimates that up to 70% of the world’s population will be living in urban settlements by 2050, cities are under pressure to minimise the required inputs of energy, water, food, and waste, and the output of heat, air and water pollution.

Bonn, with the help of Deutsche Telekom, is one of many cities globally that are adopting smart city solutions to tackle the environmental impact of increasing urbanisation. The Digital Bonn initiative recently took a further step forward with the intelligent networking of street lights, waste containers and measurement of air pollution. We are providing NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT) technologies to connect street lights in the city centre and waste containers at Münsterplatz garage with intelligent sensors, as well as software and data for the measurement of air quality.

We are also collaborating with various partners in several smart city initiatives across Germany and our European footprint. We have already installed smart city solutions in European cities in ten countries.. The city of the future needs more digital services, including solutions for parking space management, mobility management, smart street lighting, public safety and security and waste management. Only then can we ensure that our cities will be sustainable for generations to come.

Author: Andreas Bentz Smart City Expert Deutsche Telekom
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