Da Nang's bold smart city next steps

IBM Smarter Cities Business Unit Executive Poh Wah Lee demonstrates the ability to monitor and predict traffic patterns in Da Nang, Vietnam’s traffic control center.Da Nang has one of Vietnam's highest population growth rates and is deploying advanced technologies from Smart Cities Council Lead Partner IBM to relieve the strain on resources.

In 2012, according to Vietnam.net, Da Nang was one of 33 cities around the world chosen to receive a US$400,000 grant in kind from IBM for its smart city project. City leaders have identified two priority areas for deploying the advanced technologies – transportation and water.

To battle traffic congestion, Da Nang is getting a new traffic control center (pictured above with IBM Smarter Cities exec Poh Wah Lee) that will help city officials monitor traffic and control the city’s traffic light system through a dashboard. Using IBM’s Big Data technologies and predictive analytics, the traffic control center will have the tools to forecast and prevent potential congestion and better coordinate city responses to issues like accidents and adverse weather.

The new system will give Da Nang’s Department of Transport real-time information on its 100 city buses – details such as driving speed, location and predicted journey times. Via the department’s web portal, passengers will be immediately informed of changes to bus routes, time tables and estimated arrival times.

On the water side, the Da Nang Water Company (DAWACO) is expanding and modernizing its water treatment facility and will use IBM Smarter Cities technology for real-time analysis and monitoring of the city’s water supply. That's a big change; previously water samples were collected and analyzed manually. By installing sensors throughout the water treatment process, DAWACO can measure water turbidity, salinity, conductivity, pH and chlorine levels in real time.

Vietnam.net says Da Nang has a long-term plan to become environmentally and economically sustainable. In future projects it aims to use technology to improve public safety, flood management and food safety.

"Da Nang is punching above its weight as a smarter city," Michael J Dixon, general manager of IBM Smarter Cities, said.  "This is a city which understands the value of technology in helping it to become more efficient, sustainable and livable."

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