Smart City

Smart city – next stop: the future.

According to current projections, Switzerland’s population will reach around ten million by 2045, with the majority living in large cities. This will pose new challenges for urban centres. Even today, cities are responsible for two thirds of the country’s total energy consumption and also produce about 80 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. Intelligent solutions are needed here and one proposition is the “smart city” concept.

Smart City Lab Basel.

In order to implement and promote specific Smart City projects, SBB initiated the Smart City Lab Basel together with the canton of Basel-Stadt. The lab is a test room for new ideas, prototypes and services in the areas of mobility, logistics and more. It allows experts and interested members of the public to experience smart solutions.

What is a smart city?

Smart City is a collective term that refers to holistic, cooperative development concepts whose goal is to improve the quality of life in cities – i.e. to make cities more participative, efficient, networked, intelligent, innovative and dynamic, as well as safer, more sustainable and more resilient. 
A smart city offers its inhabitants the highest quality of life using as few resources as possible. This can be achieved by linking different infrastructures such as transport, energy and communications, for individual buildings, districts or whole cities. The foundation for such an approach is provided by new technologies and innovations such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). Digitalisation is enabling cities to become “smart” –  i.e. buildings, neighbourhoods and cities can function  more intelligently and efficiently, thereby improving the quality of life of its residents. 

What is SBB doing to help develop smart cities?

With its networked mobility services, nationwide infrastructure and large, centrally located sites, SBB can make a major contribution to creating a “Smart Switzerland”. SBB is aware of its responsibility with regard to economic development in Switzerland, which is why the company acts as a strong partner who would like to assist the cantons, cities and municipalities with the creation of smart cities. Digitalisation will enable cities to benefit by becoming more attractive and competitive and offering a better quality of life with lower resource consumption, even as their populations continue to rise. Smart city concepts include technical, economic and social aspects. These concepts also focus on the needs of local residents, and their complexity necessitates extensive cooperation between industry, the scientific community and public authorities. With innovative mobility solutions and ground-breaking district development projects in top locations, SBB can support cities with their plans and be an important partner in helping them become smart cities, particularly when it comes to smart mobility, smart building, smart public space, smart energy and smart connectivity

The five areas of action.

“Smart City: SBB’s contribution.” offers detailed information on smart city approaches and can be found here: 
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Smart City Lab Basel.

Innovations come about when different parties gather together to share their skills and pool their knowledge: the Smart City Lab Basel links up partners from the worlds of business, science and administration, as well as interested members of the public, to form one community.

Together, its members experiment, learn from one another and develop new ideas and projects for a smart district and a smart Switzerland of tomorrow. Technical specialists and innovation experts support the community in its endeavours.

The Smart City Lab Basel is a space for testing ideas, prototypes and services in the areas of mobility, logistics and more. It brings smart solutions to life, both for experts and interested members of the public, and discusses these with a wide audience at public events.

The lab, which is a joint initiative by SBB and the Canton of Basel Stadt, is located on the Wolf site close to Basel SBB station. Some 160,000 m2 will be available for the pioneering application by 2024.

Smart City Lab Basel Website

Smart City Lab Basel

Why does SBB operate in the Smart city sector?

Welcoming over 1.26 million passengers per day, SBB is the most important transport provider for the smart cities of tomorrow. The company operates its own electricity grid including seven power stations, and produces a large amount of the energy it needs itself. As much as 90 percent of this power is already produced using renewable resources, a figure which is set to rise to 100 percent by 2020. As the driving force of Swiss public transport and an environmental pioneer among European rail companies, SBB is playing an important role in the mobility of the future. With modern development and infrastructure projects, SBB is making an important contribution to turning Switzerland into a more attractive and competitive country. As a mobility service provider and real estate developer, the company serves as a successful interface between spatial planning and traffic management, making it a key driving force behind a smart Switzerland.

SmartCity Illustration