Smart Cities April eNewsletter - Smart Cities in Extreme events

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Written by Abouzar Estebsari

Smart cities, equipped with advanced technologies and data-driven solutions, have emerged as a promising gateway to address urban challenges and enhance the quality of life for citizens. While these technologies can provide numerous benefits, they can also create new vulnerabilities and risks, making these ubiquitous cities more susceptible to a wide range of extreme events such as natural disasters, cyber-attacks, and pandemics, which can cause significant disruptions and put the safety and well-being of citizens at risk. For example, smart cities rely heavily on digital technologies and interconnected systems, which can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Therefore, enhancing the resilience of smart cities is crucial to mitigate the impact of extreme events and ensure their sustainable development.

Written by Benedict Vergara and Payman Dehghanian

The transition from a centralized electricity generation and distribution system, consisting of a few large-scale units, to a decentralized system with many small-scale units has resulted in complex power distribution challenges that cannot be efficiently managed by a single centralized authority. This is particularly true for power distribution systems in cities, which are facing increasing frequency of extreme weather events and need rapid controls to protect buildings from potential damage. Fortunately, recent advancements in optical sensing and computing technology have improved the ability to capture high-resolution data and accelerate the speed at which machine learning models can make predictions. These developments pave the way for a future power grid that can effectively manage a heavily populated network of distributed energy resources (DERs) in urban areas.

Written by Payman Dehghanian

With the advent of more frequent and higher-intensity extremes, smart cities face numerous challenges when it comes to energy delivery during disasters. In facing a disaster, either natural or man-made, the importance of maintaining a reliable and sustainable energy supply cannot be overstated, as it is critical for ensuring the functionality of essential services such as hospitals, emergency services, and communication networks. One of the major challenges in energy delivery during natural disasters is the damage caused to energy infrastructure resulting in widespread power outages. This can have severe consequences, especially if the outage lasts for an extended period, as it can lead to disruptions in food and water supply, transportation, and other essential services, quickly turning into a national security concern. Maintaining a reliable and sustainable energy supply is crucial for smart cities during natural disasters. Effective energy delivery systems, including backup power sources, are critical in maintaining the functionality of essential services and ensuring the resilience of smart cities when facing extremes.

Written by Masoud Barati and Mohammad Ensaf

As the world continues to urbanize and integrate technology into everyday life, smart cities are emerging as a solution for sustainable living. With the growing threat of extreme events, asset management becomes essential in ensuring the resilience of power grids. This article explores the role of asset management in power grids facing extreme events in the context of smart cities. We analyze the importance of efficient asset management strategies to enhance the robustness of power grids and reduce the impact of extreme events on smart city infrastructure.

Written by T. J. Lu, Ling-Huey Li, Tzu-Wei Chan, Hsin-Yu Lin, and Bernard Fong

Preparation for natural disasters is an extremely important task in the context of emergency and safety management across the smart city framework. This paper takes a look at the preparedness of emergency response in the event of an unpredicted extreme event for smart nursing homes where elderly residents can be endangered by physical and/or cognitive impairments.

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