Smart lampposts to help stop the spread of Covid-19

A group of global smart city partners submitted a report which highlights how a new generation of smart lampposts that can read body temperatures and detect overcrowding could help to stop the spread of Covid-19 and regenerate cities.

Shining a Global Light draws on case experiences from Barcelona, Copenhagen, LA, London, Munich and Singapore, to demonstrate how smart lampposts are being used to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The report demonstrates how latest generation lamp columns go beyond street lighting by incorporating sensors that can receive and transmit information about crowd density, and even the body temperature of individuals. They can also incorporate CCTV, air quality sensors, flooding monitors, digital signage, and 5G wifi hotspots.

It provides a number of examples of how cities around the world are using these lamp columns, including Barcelona, where the city council has developed a camera-based solution attached to lampposts in the Las Ramblas area to ensure public health on beaches and implement crowd control measures to help tackle Covid.

“We used scanning devices to get the images and a bit of artificial intelligence to analyse them to find out what portion of the beach was free in terms of lack of people,” said Marc Perez-Batlle, innovation manager at Municipal Institute of Information and Technology at Barcelona City Council. “We analysed the proportion of sand rather than identifying people’s faces. This enabled us to look at the capacity that was free. Due to privacy concerns we anonymised the images.”

Globally, there are 326 million street lights. A quarter of these have been converted to run on energy saving LEDs, with more than 10 million lamp columns already set up as smart lampposts.  Photo Smartcitiesworld