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What is a Smart Neighborhood?

What is a Smart Neighborhood?

A smart neighborhood is designed to use a minimum amount of energy by building high-performance, connected homes equipped with the latest innovations in technology. These neighborhoods also promote sustainability and livability with a community microgrid and energy-efficient systems and appliances.

Many believe that living in smart neighborhoods are the wave of the future. The longstanding methods for building homes and neighborhoods have led to substantial amounts of energy waste. Smart neighborhoods can potentially solve that issue.

Smart Neighborhood Ideas

Smart neighborhoods are beginning to spring up around the country. Examples of communities being created or redeveloped into smart neighborhoods include Lake Nona in Orlando, Hudson Yards in New York, and Port Covington in Baltimore.

Bill Gates is funding development of a smart neighborhood in the Phoenix area. Two of the latest are being created in Georgia and Alabama.

Unlike in the past, developers work with tech companies to design the neighborhoods. Those involved include Google parent company Alphabet, Amazon, Cisco, Dell, IBM, Microsoft, Panasonic, and Siemens.

The overall strategy is to leverage technology innovations for building neighborhoods. This includes working with cities to build central “dashboards” that can control operations more efficiently.

Those operations can range from managing traffic flow, emergency services, waste pickup, and management of resources.

As for homeowners themselves, they will experience a number of positive changes. They include the following.

Security

New companies are developing security systems that connect various smart devices in the home, allowing owners to control all aspects of home security through a single mobile app. You could, for example, lock all the doors, turn the alarm system on or off and check on the status at your home – all from anywhere in the world, using your smartphone.

Energy Efficient

A smart neighborhood has homes that use the latest tech features. Some of those include:

  • Voice controlled home systems
  • Solar roof panels
  • Batteries to store excess solar energy for use when the sun isn’t shining
  • LED lighting throughout the home
  • Energy-efficient washers, dryers, dishwashers and other appliances

Neighborhood Improvements

For the neighborhood itself, high-tech features also come into play. For example, the neighborhood in Arizona that Gates is funding is building roads that work best with autonomous vehicles. High-speed internet and data centers that serve the neighborhoods also will improve connectivity for all the systems mentioned above.

Many smart neighborhoods also have a microgrid that serves only the community. This is far more efficient than the current energy grid system with supplies power to huge sections of the country. While still connected to the main power grid, microgrids can work independently with a local power source.

These are some of the features of a smart neighborhood. There’s little doubt the details will change as more technology innovations become available. But it’s clear that for future generations, smart neighborhoods will be the place to live.

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