Becoming a Smart, Sustainable City takes more than Sensors

Becoming a Smart, Sustainable City takes more than Sensors

Smart Cities will no longer be a static accumulator of data but will become extended through sensor technology with capability to interact with each other and instantaneously make decisions based on this interaction – The OiER UN Charter Center of Excellence together with its new partner Upciti - - will join forces to support cities within their development process and provide valuable services for higher performance and a clear improvement of the use of data.

Due to the urban population growth and rapid urbanization, the current city services and their governance could fail to deliver adequate added values to citizens. It is necessary to improve means and systems that enhance the community’s quality of life which requires the provisioning of such services in a dynamic and effective manner. The impressive advances in computing and wired/wireless communication technologies (sensors) have brought with them the prospect of embedding different hierarchies of smartness and intelligence.

The social, economic, environmental, and engineering challenges of this transformation will shape the 21st century. The lives of the people living in those cities can be improved – and the impact of this growth on the environment reduced – using “smart” technologies that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of urban systems.

As defined by experts (Harrison), a smart city is: "a city connecting the physical infrastructure, the IT infrastructure, the social infrastructure, and the business infrastructure to leverage the collective intelligence of the city"

Leading companies such as Upciti have begun to recognize that they can only address the complex sustainability challenges by scaling up their efforts through collaboration with local authorities, governments, industry and sector organizations (Esri, Atos, etc.), customers, nonprofit organizations, and society – to develop state of the art technology to solve upcoming challenges in urban areas.

Cities across the globe are installing technology to gather data in the hopes of saving money, becoming cleaner, reducing traffic, and improving urban life.

Better parking, efficient lighting, improved traffic flow, smarter security, and noise protection are all areas where technology can make an impact. “The biggest challenge of these technologies,” Jean-Baptiste POLJAK said Founder and CEO of Upciti, “there’s a lot of scattering within existing systems … Cities need a way to connect all these different standards and bring them all in a common, unified platform – Upciti offers these services and years of experience to guide cities and local governments individually through this transformation.”

Sensor Technology

Smart cities are complex and large distributed systems characterized by their heterogeneity, security, and reliability challenges. In addition, they are required to consider several scalability, efficiency, safety, real-time responses, and smartness issues. All of this means that building smart city applications is extremely complex.

“Every city has its own challenges.”

Swarm Intelligence and Sensor Technology is a very promising paradigm to deal with such complex and dynamic systems. It presents robust, scalable and self-organized behaviors to deal with dynamic and fast changing systems. The intelligence of cities can be modeled as a swarm of digital telecommunication networks (the nerves), ubiquitously embedded intelligence (the brains), sensors and tags (the sensory organs), and software (the knowledge and cognitive competence).

From the perspective of the requirements for smart cities, wide availability of these technologies translates to a large number of opportunities for all stakeholders involved.

Today with its unique sensor technology applying the most stringent privacy rules and based on image analysis by Artificial Intelligence, Upciti characterizes and optimizes flows of goods and people for towns and local areas through sensor technology – the objective is to create better living standards for citizens and to improve the quality of life. Furthermore, the wide range of applications and reliability of the data provided by Upciti allows city sensors to achieve unequaled detection reliability.

The main characteristics of Upciti’s edge intelligence such as robustness, adaptability and self-organization, flexibility, scalability and decentralization, are getting a great solution to distributed problems in cities around the globe.

Watch a short clip about the best practice in Ettelbruck

In deploying such a solution, Ettelbruck has thus become Luxembourg’s first Smart City having fully connected its parking options, with clearly identified uses and proven user benefits.

The implemented RMS Traffic App allows citizens to identify classic use, such as the occupancy of standard, disabled and EV parking spaces, as well as more specific cases, such as drop-off points, delivery bays and car share spaces.

After several weeks of roll-out and tests under the aegis of Mayor, Jean-Paul SCHAAF, Ettelbruck (Luxembourg) citizens can now rely on this efficient service and the city already plans to upscale the solution in other sectors as well.

Upciti’s solution tackles crisis (Covid-19)

Especially today, everyone knows that a pandemic such as Covid-19 will change the way we shop, work and travel. Major new trends are already emerging.

Upciti is backing up all these changes with its unique technology. Shortly after launching a new Upciti Park feature for retailers to help them securing post-lockdown consumer purchases, Upciti MOVE is evolving as the look of cities and the mobility flows change. In addition to the existing functionalities, the Upciti MOVE solution can be used to monitor the occupancy rate of Park-and-Ride facilities, the bicycle paths attendance, the queues at store entrances, the distance between pedestrians and, of course, traffic statistics in public places: everything at the same time and in a fully GDPR-compatible manner. Such effectiveness has no other goal than to step aside in favor of a genuine recovery where cities and territories would find again their bustle and liveliness.


As front runner Upciti together with OiER is already working with other cities in Europe and the United States on realizing similar use cases within the next weeks and months.

Upciti and OiER also want to announce the development of an Impact Measurement Simulator which will go live in Q4 this year. For further information please contact the Secretary Generals office or Upciti directly.

More about Upciti:

Created in 2017 and directed by Jean-Baptiste POLJAK, Upciti designs, develops and markets a unique embedded image analysis technology that provides precise, localized and real time data for Smart Cities and Smart Retailers. Centered around its launch for parking, the artificial intelligence model is regularly upgraded to meet new applications (flow metering, public lighting control, contextual support for autonomous cars, etc.), while respecting the most stringent privacy laws and regulations.


Bertrand Mathieu

Global Sales & Marketing Manager


+33 (0)6 77 78 47 95