Vienna, Austria will soon be home to a large smart city pilot project — one which will create a multifunctional urban district that features intelligent power grids, power supply, building systems, and communication technologies, which all work together within the Aspern region of Vienna.
The project officially began on July 3 with the creation of Aspern Smart City Research — the company created by Siemens and its partners for the project. The company has been given a budget of about $51 million dollars and will begin work on October 1. The smart city project is intended to be — essentially — a living laboratory to test out concepts and designs.
This smart city living laboratory will be located in Aspern — a northeastern region in Vienna — and will cover over 240 hectares of land. The city will include residential apartments, offices, science and research facilities, businesses, and an education quarter. About 50% of the space in the district will be reserved for public areas — such as parks, plazas, and other types of recreational areas. The aim is that, by 2030, the district will develop into a “city of the future,” home to more than 20,000 people and the site of over 20,000 new jobs.
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This project represents an opportunity to develop a long-term integrated concept for an energy-optimized city district using appropriate technologies, products, and solutions in a real-world infrastructure. The goal is to make the whole system “smarter.”
One step involves connecting buildings that have different functions, i.e. offices and apartments, to the low-voltage distribution network. In the future building control systems will manage the energy exchange between buildings and optimize energy consumption locally. This offers building operators the possibility to participate actively on the energy markets.
Information and communication technologies play an important role in this process, as does data evaluation. New IT solutions detect faults in the system, recognize inefficient consumption patterns, and identify potential opportunities for savings. Decentralized power generation from renewable energy sources will supply Aspern’s electrical needs. Modern storage technologies will play an important role here.
Leading the project will be Corporate Technology — Siemens’ global research department. Corporate Technology will work closely with the expert building technicians and smart grid engineers at Siemens, as well as various local utility companies and development associations.