City of Things is a collaborative project between the City of Antwerp, Flanders and imec which plans to turn Antwerp into a living lab in which businesses, researchers, local residents, and the city itself will experiment with smart technologies.
According to City Councilor for the Economy, Caroline Bastiaens, “The city is targeting four strategic priorities: mobility, security, sustainability and digital interaction with citizens.” The project will install a network of smart sensors and wireless gateways around Antwerp’s buildings, streets, squares, and other city objects. This network will connect the citizens with a whole range of innovative applications, such as measuring air quality, monitoring traffic flows, detecting car park occupancy levels, and customized multimedia applications and interactive displays throughout the city.
“For the cities of tomorrow it’s all about the survival of the smartest,” says Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever. “Monitoring is the key to knowledge – so that’s exactly what we are going to do. Thanks to this unique collaboration, Antwerp is heading for a new golden age. In the coming years, the city will build a strong position in smart city technology, nationally and internationally. It is also the first step in putting Flanders firmly on the world map as a knowledge region: Smart Flanders, we call it.”
Flanders will invest 4 million Euro annually in the City of Things project and between 2017 to 2019, the City of Antwerp intends to invest an additional 650,000 Euro.
“Making life in cities more pleasant and sustainable, using everything that our technology has to offer, that is what Smart Cities is all about,” says Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister for the Economy. “And imec, as a world-class research center, is the right partner to make this happen. With imec’s expertise, we can build a smart city with an open, secure and scalable infrastructure. A smart city where everyone has the opportunity to develop ideas and work together to create the future of Antwerp and the Flanders region.”