Smart City

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.



With the aim of deepening expertise and enhancing its network of potential partners, SBB is already acting for a third time as the main partner of SmartSuisse (German), an annual industry conference dedicated to the smart city. SmartSuisse will be held at the Congress Center Basel on 10 and 11 April 2019.

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 pilot site.

The 160,000 m2 site in the area around Wolf freight station in Basel was selected as a smart city pilot site. The aim is to develop the site into the smartest location in Switzerland in cooperation with the canton of Basel-Stadt and other partners (including Smart Regio Basel). Construction operations are scheduled to begin in 2024. Before that, pilot projects will be carried out at other locations as appropriate in order to make systems and technologies ready for the market.

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

SmartSuisse – the industry conference on smart cities.

With the aim of deepening expertise and enhancing its network of potential partners, SBB is already acting for a third time as the main partner of SmartSuisse (German), an annual industry conference dedicated to the smart city. SmartSuisse will be held at the Congress Center Basel on 10 and 11 April 2019. High-calibre speakers from Switzerland and abroad along with political decision makers, key stakeholders from the industry and academic experts will be presenting solutions for sustainable urban development in Switzerland. SmartSuisse pursues a cross-sectoral approach with the aim of creating closer ties between the public sector, business and academia in order to lay the crucial groundwork for a smart Switzerland together. The event is aimed at anyone wishing to take an active and lasting part in helping to shape urban living and the smart cities of tomorrow.