Colloquium announcement

Faculty of Engineering Technology

Department Design, Production and Management
Master programme Industrial Design Engineering

As part of his / her master assignment

Vijlder, E.M. de (Elisabeth)

will hold a speech entitled:

Supporting development of Smart City tools in the municipal context, a case study on Rotterdam's Smart Public Nodes

RoomWH224, VR-lab


Smart Cities have been a popular subject in many municipalities. As new Smart City innovations may attract new businesses they are regarded as great sources of economic growth and technological progress. However, this subject also requires municipalities to stay on their toes by regularly revising policies and regulations to facilitate innovation while warranting privacy, security and perhaps even accessibility of public data.

An example of one such Smart City application is 5G technology. Rotterdam and other Dutch cities are expected to facilitate the upcoming roll out of this transmission technology in urban areas. This requires the municipalities to closely collaborate with commercial Telecom operators. A European initiative was therefore devised called ‘Smart Public Nodes’ which aims to tackle this challenge by updating ‘regular’ municipal lamp posts to facilitate 5G small cells. However, maintenance managers of Rotterdam’s Public Lighting department recognised that municipal lamp post would need to be adjusted to enable this installation. They consequently developed a new alternative called ‘The CENT-R’ which took inspiration from the European concept. The CENT-Rs are unique in their ability to combine multiple devices as the design features a modular casing. This modularity enables, for instance, the additional installation of car chargers and parking meters into the adjusted Smart Public Nodes. As the CENT-Rs are designed to facilitate the installation of 5 different devices, the amount of commercial electrical devices can be reduced significantly when these multifunctional assets are introduced in the city.

Moreover Smart Public Nodes (and CENT-Rs) are expected to help municipalities create ‘Smart Services’ and collect real-time data on the urban space. The CENT-R team thus requires input of municipal departments and various experts to ensure such functionalities add value to the organisation. However as CENT-Rs differ significantly from ‘regular’ public assets, development and implementation of CENT-Rs in Rotterdam’s municipal organisation have been slow. As the CENT-Rs are still considered a municipal pilot, the smart assets do not yet receive the organisational endorsement they require.

This thesis is therefore focussed on analysing development challenges of Smart Public Nodes in the municipal context. These challenges are used as input to build a ‘framework’ that is focussed on providing necessary development considerations and provides guidelines that may help municipalities stay ‘in control’ of Smart Public Nodes.