SmartCitesDive has reported that the City of Calgary in Alberta, Canada has unveiled four new smart city initiatives, designed to make use of sensors and the internet of things to improve air quality, disabled services, climate and speed of play on its golf courses.

The City of Calgary is a pioneer in the use of Long Range Low Power Wireless Area Network (LoRaWAN) and has deployed sensors developed by the University of Calgary and local tech firms.

Completed in September 2017, the LoRaWAN network provides wireless signal coverage for a large footprint in the Calgary region, including the busy downtown core and most of the city’s facilities in the South and East areas.

The LoRaWAN network leveraged existing communications infrastructure (including radio towers and fibre network), to ensure minimal additional cost.

It is the first industrial grade LoRaWAN network built by a Canadian municipality to enable local IoT innovations. There were many technical challenges to overcome; however all the results and findings that resulted from the project are valuable contributions to the IoT industry.

This long range, low power technology means the city can:

– wirelessly monitor devices that are difficult to access or out of range for Wi-Fi
– be more cost effective compared to use of the existing cellular network
– be more efficient with employees’ labour- time is spent on complex tasks rather than data collection
– be more effective at service delivery- more accurate and timely data to plan city work and respond to emerging needs

Citizens will benefit in many ways, for example:

– measuring soil condition for urban canopy maintenance and water valve status remotely, which saves time, conserves resources and provides more accurate and timely data.
– city-wide air quality sensors enable us to monitor the environment.
– river sensors provide ongoing updates on flood concerns, allowing us to better plan and prepare for any high-water events.