Only time will reveal the most effective combination of strategies and technologies to realize the substantive, transformative changes that leading Smart City thinkers foresee. But whatever that combination is, it will almost certainly emerge out of urban experimentation and citizen activism, using an open and highly capable communications network and distributed points of intelligence.
Public lighting can play a unique role in making the Smart City a reality. Because the physical lighting infrastructure is ubiquitous—it’s already installed wherever people live, work, play, and travel—it can serve as a backbone for many different applications. Open technologies and well-defined software interfaces allow city managers to link services together and manage them centrally and comprehensively, and give citizens access to public data, allowing them to participate in solving problems and improving the city’s quality of life.