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Putting Data to Work: Driving Innovations in Smart Cities


The future of urban living is smart cities. In fact, the global smart cities market is projected to reach over $463 billion by 2027

By tapping into sensors and other data collection devices, a smart city can significantly improve the quality of life for its citizens. Connected smart buildings and digital technology will advance to become an integrated network that leverages real-time data to improve transportation efficiency, energy utilization, public safety and more.

The proliferation and evolution of smart cities presents enormous opportunities for real estate and property technology providers to leverage data and next-generation technology to improve safety and address the growing environmental concerns we are facing today.

From data-driven emergency planning and energy management to carbon emission reduction and improving road safety, the possibilities afforded to us through the power of data are truly endless.

Below, we break down three ways data and the internet of things (IoT) can help the real estate and property technology sectors innovate and advance the smart city movement.

Smart Meters: Safeguarding Our Communities – And Global Environment

Falling under the industrial IoT category, smart meters can monitor electricity consumption in real-time and cover other tools such as connected electric and natural gas meters, wastewater systems, flow gauges, pipeline monitors, manufacturing robots, and other connected industrial tools and systems that help support city operations. 

There are more than 83.5 million residential smart electric meters in the United States. However, there is no aggregated view of the entire meter ecosystem. In fact, one of the contributing causes of energy failures during the February 2021 Winter Storm Uri centered around the lack of demand response – even when smart meters were in place. Visibility into the entire ecosystem, including device location and analytics via tools like CoreLogic’s location information solutions, will be necessary for predicting natural hazard emergencies, creating and optimizing contingency plans, and deploying resources when emergencies inevitably do occur.

For homeowners, smart meters enable energy consumption monitoring and appliance anomaly detection, which helps to mitigate safety risks like home fires. On a larger scale, smart meters are instrumental in developing smart grids, which impact a city’s energy generation, transmission and distribution. Additionally, smart grids improve energy reliability, enable faster power restoration after outages and better address carbon emission reduction.

Geo-Spatial Data: Protecting Property and Ensuring Public Safety

How much money would city leaders save if they had access to critical location information that property insurers require following a disaster? How many human lives would be spared if that same geo-spatial data could help first responders elevate emergency evacuation plans?

Equipping first responders with CoreLogic’s advanced location intelligence and geo-spatial data before, during and after a natural disaster helps to accomplish these feats – and more. By providing insights into crucial planning variables such as city traffic, building infrastructure, natural hazard risks and supply drop-off points, geo-spatial data elevates every layer of emergency plans.

Further, empowered with 360-degree view of property, communities can leverage this data to monitor, manage and assess post-emergency damage. Consider the following post-fire use case scenario:

  • First responders utilize geo-spatial data to assess destroyed properties.
  • Within minutes, location information including pre- and post-fire property images are reported to property insurers. 
  • Insurance companies immediately begin assessing financial impact — without needing an on-site representative.

Creating an IoT-connected ecosystem within smart cities would enable responders to strategically plan for emergency scenarios with more accuracy and communicate these plans with greater transparency to residents and other municipal stakeholders.

Better, Faster, Stronger: Building Smarter Cities on Blockchain

In smart cities, all municipal devices connected to an IoT network have the capability to receive and transmit data, allowing coordination, integration and management of different city services. This is revolutionary technology that demands greater trust and transparency between local government entities and the public.

Thanks to blockchain, data from smart meters to environmental sensors can all be linked to each other on an encrypted database that is decentralized, distributed and unassailable, creating a digital record that’s both secure and easily accessible to the public. Win-win.

Let’s Work (and Live) Smarter – Not Harder

Data is the foundation on which smart cities are built. As safety and sustainability remain top priorities for improving our lives and communities, demand (and desire) for these intelligent cities will only increase. It’s crucial that real estate and property technology industries have access to the data necessary to deliver the solutions to not only make building smart cities possible, but also help improve human lives – and our planet.

©2021 CoreLogic, Inc. , All rights reserved.

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