Our progress so far

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These are some examples of smart city projects that have been completed or are currently in the process of being rolled out.

There are other smart city initiatives happening in and around the city and some further
examples are detailed throughout the roadmap (15.5mb PDF).

Smart street lighting

Before awarding the contract the council invited a group of leading LED manufacturers to demonstrate their products using a large-scale test bed along two city roads. The test bed allowed real-world comparisons and enabled citizens, key stakeholders and specialist groups to review the lighting quality.

Participants in the study responded using a pre-set scored questionnaire to determine their responses and preferences across several aspects including uniformity of lighting, color rendering, levels of glare, color appearance/temperature, and lamp aesthetics. The test area was also used by the project team for technical analysis of Lux levels and other lighting metrics.

Drivers

The main drivers were to achieve savings on the city’s energy bills, reinforced by a desire to cut carbon emissions and provide a controllable responsive lighting network.

Benefits

The new system has reduced the city’s annual energy bill by £800,000 in the first year and is expected to pay back the project costs within 5 years. In addition, around £130,000 is expected to be saved annually in maintenance and management costs. Cardiff is the only UK city recognised by the International Dark-Sky Association for its efforts to reduce the impact of artificial lighting on the night sky.

  • The smart lighting initiative has exceeded its original energy estimates and has made ‘fault finding’ around the city much easier.
  • The smart lights are GPS enabled which allows for future-proofed real-time asset management. The lights can be controlled and monitored by an intuitive Central Management System (CMS).

Cardiff is currently in the process of ‘rolling out’ its smart lighting to residential streets within the city.

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15,000 connected street lights on our road network

Smart parking

Cardiff now has more than 3,300 sensors deployed around the city which are connected to SmartSpots throughout the city. These relay information to a cloud based back office system which collects data. The Council uses this data to monitor its parking assets and to plan improvements to the management of parking in the city.

The system also feeds parking availability data to a free app that allows users to see in real time which of the on street spaces are available and also directs them to an available space. The user is also given a link that allows them to pay for parking via a remote payment solution (miPermit). ParkCardiff is Europe’s first city-wide application of smart parking technology.

Testing

Cardiff initially deployed 225 Smart Parking RFID equipped sensors in central parking hotspots to see if the technology worked.

Drivers

Looking for parking spaces causes congestion, increases fuel consumption and raises carbon emissions in the area.

Benefits

The system provides vital parking data to the Council and gives users real-time information on available spaces throughout the Cardiff area. The app is bi-lingual (English and Welsh) and helps to alleviate city congestion, reduces user’s fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

The app is available to download:

Android

iOS

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3,300 parking sensors across our city.

Bike sharing scheme – Next Bikes

The success of Cardiff’s bike sharing scheme is a great example of partnership working. The bike sharing scheme has 500 bikes and 60 stations now in operation and is set to double this year. The success of Cardiff’s nextbike scheme has exceeded all expectations and has now become an integral part of the city’s transport infrastructure.

Drivers

The bike sharing scheme was supported by Cardiff Council and Welsh Government to help to reduce congestion, free up parking spaces and provide a healthy, sustainable way to travel around the city. Cardiff wants to become a cycling city and the nextbike scheme aims to encourage people to leave their cars at home and consider alternative travel options.

Nextbike

Over 278,000 nextbike rentals have taken place since the schemes launch in 2018.

Benefits

The nextbike scheme has been a huge success and its users are helping Cardiff achieve its target of a 50:50 modal shift by 2026 (50% of journeys to be taken by sustainable modes of transport and 50% by car). The bike sharing scheme has improved the visibility of bikes in the city and has encouraged greater cycle use which brings with it health and environmental benefits.

The nextbike scheme is due to extend later this year allowing users access to 1000 bikes, across 130 stations.

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