The Aix-en-Provence city council has decided to capitalize on Smart City benefits mainly with the aim of improving the quality of life of both citizens and visitors. In addition, to showcase innovation at the service of the population and act for the environment thanks to relevant field data which will help to predict and thus better prevent.

Field operations

To successfully conduct this type of broad project the full involvement of elected officials is essential. “Axians has accompanied the City of Aix-en-Provence in all phases of their projects, from the elaboration of their needs to the final solutions” said Stephan Guidarini, Local Authorities & Government Agencies Business Developer.
To help the city to express their requirements, Axians provided a consulting team who were able to translate their needs to the technical teams. Those consultants understand the different business lines, travel to the field, and know how to describe and understand the technical processes.
For that matter, the consultants team went directly to the public lighting city department to understand what type of information and data would improve their performance and thus correspond perfectly to their needs.

Moving a step further, Axians went to see the municipal police to understand their needs. They needed noise sensors throughout the city. Indeed, it could simplify their daily life. If they are called for night disturbances, they can remotely access the recorded decibels and avoid physically investigating if the recorded noise level does not exceed the authorized norm. Such a system also allows them to accumulate evidence in case of need.

The active participation of all operations-based city departments is paramount during the whole process in order to be sure our solution will be adopted.

Some use cases

The CIO and the city general management are working together around many IoT projects deployed by Axians.
One of use cases is to take care of water consumption, to detect leaks, but also to water on demand in the city’s parks and connected greenhouses. Around fifty connected probes have been installed on water meters to analyze consumption.
Another project concerns lighting, with all 500 street cabinets connected. This use has had an immediate ROI in addition of the replacement of bulbs with LEDs and the detection of failing streetlights. This project was followed by waste management and pedestrian flow management in busy streets, which receives more than 150,000 people each week.
For security, the IoT has resulted in the detection of suspicious noises by a dozen sensors by connected cameras. Another growing area is air quality measurement. Sensors are installed in schools and dining halls, but also in the city to indicate to citizens the most important pollens.
The city is studying the possibility of developing with the publisher PTC a journey in augmented reality showing public squares and buildings, such as the Palace of Justice, in three historical periods.

A global Smart City approach leads to the transformation of how a community is organized.

Even though Smart Cities are often initially focused on a technological aspect, the project owner communities are quickly caught up in the organizational aspect of such approaches. Indeed, by modernizing tools, processes and jobs, a Smart City project is a profound reorganization of the way a city or town traditionally operates.

The digital transformation of the local authority involved in the modernization of its infrastructure and business processes is often the most complex aspect of the deployment of this type of project. In recent years, new software tools and new functional modules for managing the city have appeared such as the urban hypervisors. The implementation of an urban hypervisor aims to centralize information and create a link between businesses by creating a single transverse management interface.

Concerning the future of the city of Aix-en-Provence, we are very much oriented towards ecological needs with projects around revegetation. The idea is to map heat islands, to continuously measure the temperature in different parts of the city and understand where it is important to cool down and add more vegetation.

At Axians, we offer solutions to enable our customers to make the right decisions. Thanks to the diversity of the VINCI Energies brands, we are able to not only propose solutions but also to implement them thanks to our comprehensive know-how and expertise, in different businesses and sectors.