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Smart technology pilot scheme for Belfast parks

A ‘smart’ pilot project using sensors, artificial intelligence and community currency is underway in a number of locations across Belfast. It is aimed at helping Belfast City Council manage its parks and open spaces as part of the Council’s Smart Belfast programme.
The ‘Amazing Spaces, Smart Places’ initiative is being trialled for two weeks. Following a competition launched last October, five companies have been awarded funding of up to £20,000 each to explore how data and innovative technologies can help Council manage open spaces in Belfast. It will look at issues such as safety and the user experience, as well as encouraging people to visit parks.
 
Phase one trials are taking place in Botanic Gardens, Victoria Park, Connswater Greenway, Girdwood Community Hub sports pitches and City Cemetery.
• iSensing Pilot Project, Belfast City Cemetery and Civica Pilot Project, Botanic Gardens – using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors this project uses anonymous WiFi connection data to record footfall and better understand the flow of people through the area.
• Pitchbooking Pilot Project, Girdwood Hub – using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors this project uses anonymous WiFi connection data to better understand the use of sports pitches in the area.
• Bann Technology Pilot Project, Connswater Greenway and Victoria Park – using a community currency app, users can earn CivicDollars by using parks and open spaces. These can then be exchanged for CivicDollars for rewards such as a free swim or gym pass, or a voucher for public transport. The app aims to encourage people to be more active and improve community wellbeing. You can download the CivicDollars app from the App Store or Google Play Store.
• SparroWatch Pilot Project, Belfast City Cemetery – this project uses an intelligent system, with artificial intelligence and computer vision, to detect activity in a particular location and provide Council with real-time notifications.
 
The ‘Amazing Spaces, Smart Places’ project has been jointly funded by Belfast City Council and the Department of Justice via the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), as well as funding from Dublin City Council.
 
For more information about the project click here. 
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