Best City Projects for Smart Benches
Walking around the cities in this competition is a breeze: plenty of charging stations for your mobile devices, lots of internet hotspots so you can check-in or check out whatever it is you are interested in, and plenty of cool looking, futuristic public seating. Only thing left to do is to choose the best one!
Sustainable and smart bus stops in Barcelona are first of its kind, equipped with cutting-edge technologies meant to improve user experiences. Designed and implemented by SmartCitiesLAB, laboratory made by a group of large corporations, these bus stops have free internet access, USB charging ports, touchscreens with bus informations and everything is solar and wind powered.
Made entirely in Croatia by a startup which was incubated in Dubrovnik, this city was the first city to install this type of solar benches. Besides charging of mobile devices, these benches act as environment monitors, and newer versions are planned to have even more functionalities.
City of Boston was the first city in the United States to install and develop smart public benches. Courtesy of Changing Environments, an MIT Media Lab company, these benches sport a solar panel, USB charging ports and they monitor environmental data. Once the system is fully operational, data that is collected by the benches will be made available on the Soofa website.
Summer of 2015 in Dubai saw an instalment of a brand new type of solar bench, named Solar palm. This tree-like structure offers beach goers and park visitors to have limitless power and internet access on their mobile phones. Soaking up the sun during the day, these trees store the energy and later in the evening discharge it. The company that is manufacturing them plans to install nearly 100 of these throughout the city.
Sarajevo, Kanton Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
After they were made and tested in Solin, Croatia, during the film festival in Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, six of these smart benches were transported and installed throughout the city. They allow for charging of mobile devices, as well as illuminating streets during the night.
First launched in Obrenovac, municipality in Serbia, a number of smart benches were set up in capital city, Belgrade. In cooperation with city’s officials and different organisations, multiple versions of smart benches were installed. Following the huge success they had in Belgrade, they were later installed in London and many other european countries.
First African initiative meant to bring life to public spaces is called Isabelo, and it is a smart bench equipped with solar panels, USB charging ports and free internet access. A prototype was first tested in Johannesburg’s neighbourhood, Maboneng Precinct, where users said it was a life-changing urban facility.