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.

What is a smart city?

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. New technologies form the foundation of these connections. Digitalisation (e.g. the “Internet of things”), enables cities to become “smart”, i.e. they function more intelligently and efficiently, while improving the quality of life of the people living there.

Welcoming over 1.25 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. 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.

Smart City

The five areas of activity of a smart city.

Smart Mobility Operating mobility hubs, integrating self-driving vehicles, etc.
Smart Building Examples include using innovative construction methods, making buildings automatic and linking them into networks, etc.
Smart Public Space Examples include developing districts with attractive outdoor areas (e.g. green spaces, parks) where people enjoy spending time, etc.
Smart Connectivity Examples include improving service quality and the standard of living thanks to an integrated exchange of information between inhabitants, cities and SBB, etc.
Smart Energy Such as using renewables and intelligent electricity networks, etc.

Getting to work in the future.

How might you get to work in a smart city? An imaginary “first-hand report”.

Like every morning, you enjoy an espresso before work. The coffee machine has saved your preferences and makes sure that your favourite coffee is waiting for you ten minutes after your smartphone alarm wakes you up. Depending on the day and time, your phone will show you the quickest route to work – it even advises you to take an umbrella today.

The driverless electric bus takes you to the city centre. It varies departure times and routes as required every day to make sure to serve as many passengers as possible. These will have inputted their requirements, home address and destination in advance using an app. When you get off to change, the smartphone pipes up again – the health app has decided that you haven’t had enough exercise this week and so recommends that you use the bike share scheme. Cars and bikes in the sharing schemes transmit radio signals so you can see what is available in your area. The app shows you how to get to the car or bike on foot, the hire costs and your travel time to work. It’s just begun to rain, so you take a car instead of a bike – and you’re dry when you get to it thanks to your umbrella! You open the car using the freshly generated code and drive away. You park up in front of your office and go in. James, the robot on reception, greets you and points you to your next meeting.

SmartSuisse – the new industry conference on smart cities.

With the aim of deepening expertise and enhancing its network of potential partners, SBB is acting as the main partner of SmartSuisse, an annual industry conference dedicated to the smart city. SmartSuisse will be held at the Congress Center Basel on 11 and 12 April 2018. 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.


Alexander Muhm, Leiter Development SBB Immobilien

SmartSuisse – gemeinsam unterwegs zu den intelligenten Städten von morgen.

Ich besuchte letzte Woche die SmartSuisse im Congress Center in Basel. Die erste Fachkonferenz zum Thema Smart City widmete sich unter dem Motto "Smart up Your city" intelligenten Lösungen für eine nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung.