Walking down Bogoridi Street in Burgas feels like stepping into the past – the low-rise buildings give a careful nod to the rococo style of an earlier age, and in this newly refurbished pedestrian area there is not a single car to contend with. But all is not as it seems.
You would never suspect that this wide, sand-hued street is one of the most high-tech public spaces in Europe. The old-style streetlamps surreptitiously sport ports for charging computers, mobiles, cameras, electric bikes and wheelchairs. They also emit the free wifi that covers the area. "Burgas Municipality is exploring new opportunities to enhance the quality of life in the city by installing first of a kind smart lampposts on its territory, adapted to the citizens’ needs," explains Daniela Ivanova-Aleksieva, Sharing Cities project manager for Burgas.
These same low-energy lampposts are monitoring air and noise pollution, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, and even wind. This real-time information goes to an automatic humidity control misting system along the whole street that keeps pedestrians cool, and even activates a smart watering system for the hanging flower baskets.
The remarkable thing is that all these extras don't come at an extra cost in the long term. The old halogen system was so inneficient to run that even with these high-tech gadgets added, the municipality still expects to save 40% on energy. The saving comes primarily from the switch to LED bulbs and use of an adaptive system which can dim the lights when less extra light is needed.
Below the earthy tile mural in which the city and its ancient architecture are mapped out, underground containers store waste discreetly. Part of the pilot project launched at the beginning of 2018, sensors within these containers let the city know when it’s time to empty them.
Want to have a look at this street of the future? If you’re impatient you can go straight to www.vrburgas.com and stroll around through your computer screen, or get the full immersive experience through your 3D virtual reality headset.
For more information please contact Jana Koleva from Burgas: firstname.lastname@example.org
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement N°691895
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