3 Steps City Innovators & IT Teams Can Take to Make the Shift to Smart Parks

3 Steps City Innovators & IT Teams Can Take to Make the Shift to Smart Parks

Municipal leaders and IT teams understand they must continually embrace digital transformation to deliver services that better engage and connect their citizens while improving efficiencies and enhancing public service offerings. Leveraging IoT technology is helping cities coast-to-coast solve business and community needs, and nowhere is that more evident than with Smart Park applications.

Public Parks have long been considered to be just outdoor spaces. But now, with the availability of smart technologies, city parks have become low-hanging fruit for innovation leaders looking to implement new solutions that can help them track and manage data, improve efficiencies, better serve the public, and achieve more significant ROI.

Below are 3 Easy Steps innovation teams can take to change the face of their public parks and create better experiences for everyone in the community.

Step 1: Robust Connectivity Provides the Foundation for Innovation

Having a digitally connected park goes way beyond just offering public Wi-Fi to parkgoers. Park leadership can also benefit from robust fiber connections that allow them to implement smart lighting solutions that save on energy costs, smart parking features that ease traffic congestion, and live video feeds that alert park leaders to asset usage, incidents, and maintenance needs.

Connectivity is the key to reimagining the park experience because it paves the way for implementing a host of Smart Community solutions that can attract visitors to the area. Integrated smart solutions also come with added financial benefits and new ROI opportunities as cities can drive down costs on electricity and maintenance calls while saving on staff time overall through remote monitoring of park facilities and better decision-making.

Step 2: Computer Vision Cameras Drive Public Safety & Park Efficiencies

As new business professionals look to move into the area, finding a nice place to live with convenient access to safe green spaces and top park amenities are among the top drivers in their decision-making process. Community-centered cities understand this, and safety is at the top of the priorities for public parks.

Smart Park Solutions utilize computer vision cameras strategically positioned in key areas of the park that alert park leadership or law enforcement to either a person or vehicle of interest. Detecting an incident through live remote monitoring improves response times and improves outcomes.

But camera insights provide more than live video feeds of potential criminal activity. High-resolution feeds allow park staff to be much more efficient with fewer resources because they can remotely monitor multiple park locations simultaneously and receive real time alerts as issue emerge. This will enable them to quickly identify maintenance needs or servicing of park assets without unnecessary truck rolls.

Step 3: Smart Parks Insights Platform Drives Better Decisions

Once park connectivity and computer vision cameras are in place, live video feeds and data insights are generated in real-time and collected on an easy-to-use Smart Communities Platform, which can serve as a central command point for park leadership and staff.

Insights include live alerts on potential incidents that can trigger leadership or law enforcement and historical trends of park visitors, the volume of vehicles visiting the park, usage of park assets, and so much more. Access to trends allows city leadership to assess where parks can be improved and where there may be opportunities to generate new revenue streams. This can lead to a more profitable park system while creating next-generation parks residents are proud to visit.

Making the Business Case & Getting Started

All city leaders and IT teams face budgeting challenges. Launching a new technology project must be justified, and making a business case for them means being able to point to long-term benefits for the city. The beauty of Smart Park Solutions is the tremendous upside both financially and for the city’s constituents.

It’s a win-win proposition that improves ROI over time and enhances community experiences. And it starts with finding the right partner who understands how it works and can deliver a turnkey project. Cox Business currently partners with cities across their footprint on their Smart Community initiatives. Those initiatives include smart parks, lighting, traffic management, curbside kiosks, and more.

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