The intermunicipal smart city model project of the cities of Aalen and Heidenheim will be represented at this year’s Make 2023 Ostwürttemberg experience fair, which will be held July 22–23 at the Leibniz Campus in Heidenheim. The project will showcase C.F. Maier City Solutions’ smart street furniture, which was created in cooperation with the municipalities and the software company Conclurer. The four parties Aalen, Heidenheim, C.F. Maier City Solutions and Conclurer present themselves at the Make as a booth community.
The cities of Aalen and Heidenheim an der Brenz, as well as the companies C.F. Maier City Solutions and Conclurer, will have a joint stand at the Make Ostwürttemberg 2023 participatory trade fair to present solutions for the city of tomorrow and bring them to life with a smart street furniture concept. In the spirit of a smart city, the joint trade fair appearance represents the creation and use of synergies that characterize the project. Visitors to the trade fair will be able to get an idea of what the future of urban space has to offer at Stand C7 on Saturday and Sunday, July 22 and 23.
Recognizing and using synergies
The demands on people, business and communities, are becoming increasingly complex. The days when challenges could be solved exclusively in individual economic sectors or by actors acting independently are over. Instead, there is a need for holistic concepts that combine different needs and competencies to create solutions that interact with each other. One example of such a concept is the intermunicipal Smart City model project of the two neighboring district towns of Aalen and Heidenheim in the Ostwürttemberg region.
With this pioneering project funded by the federal government, the municipalities want to tap into the potential of digitization and make it usable. The joint smart city strategy targets the municipal innovation fields of environmental protection, health, safety, education, tourism, culture and leisure, retail, and mobility and infrastructure. “We want to make everyday tasks easier, make information accessible more quickly and consider all urban developments with a view to possible synergies, thereby further increasing the quality of life for all citizens and maintaining the competitiveness of the local economy,” summarizes Stefanie Benz, Smart City project manager for the city of Aalen. An example of how these goals are being pursued and implemented is the smart street furniture that will be launched in Aalen in October 2022.
Smart street furniture as hubs of the digital world
The furniture is produced by C.F. Maier City Solutions, a brand of the Königsbronn-based C.F. Maier Group, which has made a name for itself as a supplier of plastic components and systems in the commercial vehicle industry and as a manufacturer in environmental and water management. The street furniture serves as seating and shelters, bicycle racks and plant or recyclable material containers, and meets all the requirements of conventional street furniture.
The objects become “smart” through the installed technology. In addition to solar systems for autonomous power supply, WiFi hotspots or charging stations for cell phones, this also includes the installed sensors, with which extensive environmental data can be recorded and processed. For example, they provide information on CO2, particulate matter or noise pollution, or supply information on soil moisture, tree vitality and visitor and traffic flows. Responsible for this aspect is Conclurer from Heidenheim, which offers software solutions for digitalization processes and has been won over by C.F. Maier City Solutions as a competence partner.
“If the data obtained is linked and interpreted correctly, it can be used to form valuable forecasts. An example of this would be a waste management route planning system that is automatically created and adjusted based on container fill levels. Another possibility is a warning system for black ice that predicts ground frost even before it occurs,” explains Marvin Scharle, Managing Director at Conclurer.
The material GRP (glass-fiber-reinforced plastic), is ideally suited for the design of the furniture pieces due to its great design freedom. In addition, it is resistant to environmental influences and at the same time permeable to radio signals from sensors and frequencies for LTE and 5G applications. This makes it possible to integrate 5G infrastructure in the street furniture and thus ensure optimum network coverage for future-oriented mobility concepts, such as autonomous driving.
Maximilian Maier, CEO of the C.F. Maier group of companies, on the motivations behind the project: “In addition to the models already developed, C.F. Maier City Solutions can also implement customized designs. However, we don't just want to supply the beautiful shell, but offer municipalities complete systems, including sensors and their networking. Cities such as Aalen or Heidenheim give us the necessary impetus in terms of demand. Experts like Conclurer help us meet this.”
No compromise on data protection
An important issue for all parties involved is data protection. Although as many real-time values as possible are to be obtained from various sources, thereby providing accurate statistics and forecasts, the collection of personal data is categorically ruled out.
“The high requirements of the DSGVO are authoritative and binding for us,” explains Pia Dudel, Smart City Officer for the city of Heidenheim. “The sensor technology is fully compliant with data protection. The recording of the optical sensors, for example, is processed directly on the device. Only anonymized data is transmitted.”
The values are visualized as a dashboard – a digital user interface on which, for example, parking space occupancy and availability, traffic volume, river levels or soil moisture are displayed in real time. In Heidenheim, this is mounted as a monitor directly on the street furniture, a covered bench, and can be accessed online at staging.dashboard.heidenheim.de. In Aalen, the values can also be read out via an online dashboard, at aalen-dashboard.de.
What can visitors expect?
So that visitors to Make Ostwürttemberg 2023 can experience the concept live, the street furniture will be on display as an exhibit at the trade show. Real-time data collected by various environmental sensors will provide information on a dashboard about soil moisture, people frequency and much more.
Representatives from Aalen, Heidenheim, C.F. Maier City Solutions and Conclurer will be on hand to answer visitors' questions and provide information about smart city concepts and their implementation from their respective perspectives.
The stand community is looking forward to welcoming numerous visitors and their questions on Saturday and Sunday, July 22 and 23, during Make Ostwürttemberg 2023 at the Leibniz Campus in Heidenheim.
Aalen and Heidenheim: https://aahdhgemeinsamdigital.de