Technology is key to building resilienceStable economic development, comprehensive public safety, reliable infrastructure, sustainable and affordable housing – these are crucial factors enabling cities to thrive and grow. Cities depend on them to cope with population growth and urbanization across the globe.
Resilient infrastructure is not an option. It is a must!Roland Busch, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG
Facing the challenge
Urban infrastructure systems and their effective and reliable operation ensure delivery of energy, mobility, water, sanitation and information, on a daily basis and during unplanned or unforeseeable situations. Yet with an ever-increasing frequency, businesses and communities face emergencies such as extreme weather-related events. City leaders have to find a new way of thinking about how to plan, design, build and manage their cities under more challenging conditions.
Siemens enables cities to boost their resilience by bringing international know-how directly to city managers. Our task is to help urban areas become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. We work with public organizations as well as private companies in helping cities, their people, communities and institutions respond to the stresses and acute shocks caused by rapid urbanization, globalization, and climate change. For us, resilience is not only about surviving – it is also about thriving, regardless of the challenge.
Water Management System
The Grid Electricity System
The Transportation Network
Avoiding power failureEnergy is the backbone of life in cities, affecting every area of infrastructure from water distribution to public transport and medical services. The energy supply in urban areas comprises a diverse mix of sources and modes. But if distribution is affected by severe weather, millions of customers may lose power and be literally left in the dark.
Making urban electricity systems more resilient and sustainable calls for a shift towards distributed, automated and remotely controlled energy systems. Microgrid infrastructure, whereby small, independent electricity or heat grids distribute locally generated energy to nearby customers, can ensure a constant power supply even if the main power grid is under stress. In the event of a major catastrophe at a centralized plant or in the transmission network, microgrids could channel energy to critical services, such as hospitals and other emergency services.
Remote monitoring, the flexible integration of decentralized energy and energy storage devices present opportunities to increase the resilience of energy supply while at the same time improving efficiency and adopting cleaner sources of power. During extreme weather, like hurricanes or other major substation events, mobile resilience transformers can replace units within days rather than weeks. For example, Siemens is providing Con Edison, the utility that powers New York City and local areas, with compact, light and environment-friendly transformers. The mobile resilience transformers allow Con Edison to respond to events in which multiple transformers are impacted and normal spares or system redundancy may not be able to address the issues.
Yet while networks usually provide multiple options, travelers and freight transport tend to depend on a familiar route. Add to this the reliance on stable energy supplies, transportation services are a highly sensitive and easily disrupted system. With recent evidence suggesting that the frequency and severity of extreme weather events will be increasing noticeably, special attention needs to be paid to cities’ transport networks. Intelligent systems that forecast and respond to the impact of damaging weather events can ensure that periods of disruption are minimized and long-term economic sustainability is not undermined.