October 29, 2013 | Renee Boucher Ferguson
Centro De Operacoes Prefeitura Do RioImage courtesy of Flickr user Blog do Planalto.
Rio de Janeiro is one of a growing number of cities that want to become smarter about what is happening and is about to happen within their city limits. “Smart cities” are popping up around the globe — from China, where 193 smart cities are being piloted as part of the country’s urban renewal plan, to Europe, the U.K., and the U.S. The development of smart cities involves a wide scope of technology, everything from renewable energy, green buildings and smart grids to traffic management, urban security and medical technology.
Beneath the giant Christ the Redeemer statue that towers over the City, the “Centro De Operacoes Prefeitura Do Rio,” [Rio Operations Center] monitors the life of the city in real time, 24 hours a day — everything from the traffic on main roads (with hundreds of live cams), to the city’s social mood, to the weather. It takes 400 professionals working in three shifts around the clock to help process and integrate information from 30 different government agencies. Data is visualized on an 80-square-meter screen in a central control room.
The goal: urban sustainable development and economic growth.