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It’s not just all about the sensor…

but about what’s done with the data.

In public spaces, more and more sensors are being installed. And there are many vendors diving into this topic. Things are evolving so rapidly, that Geonovum has even written a guidebook with a first draft of a ‘sensor data ordinance’ for all stakeholders involved.

Data driven operations and the Smart City are slowly but certainly becoming the new reality. Unfortunately, it is also reality that more than 90 percent of sensor data is not, or suboptimally used. This is because sensor data in itself does not mean anything. The data should be placed in a context and the information should be translated in understandable and actionable form for the different stakeholders. For that reason, the ConnectedGreen platform focuses fully on the right calibration and interpretation of sensors for landscaping, to make sure that the right information reaches the right person at the right time. Domain knowledge of trees, plants, soils and the weather is leveraged to help the users to calibrate and tune the system. This domain knowledge is crucial to make a system like this function in a practical way, and get the added value out of it.

Smart monitoring helps to work in a more sustainable way and save costs (less water, less project visits, less failing plants and trees). And through more transparency, collaboration between contractor and clients will improve. This means that all stakeholders will benefit. ConnectedGreen observes different ways of collaboration. Some landscapers deploy the system to monitor their own projects and work more efficiently. Others are also giving their clients access to the data, which enables better collaboration. And in some cases it’s the other way way around: a municipality buys the sensors to monitor newly planted trees and lets their contractor view the data.

Case: trees in Amsterdam

An example of a landscaper that is successfully using the system is the project of replacement of trees in the ‘Hemsterhuis’ neighborhood in Amsterdam. Due to circumstances, the trees had to be planted out-of-season and in extreme heat and drought. ‘We have installed sensors to keep an eye on the soil moisture situation, to make sure we water the trees at the right moment and they do not get not enough – or too much water’, says Henk Werner from Pius Floris Boomverzorging Amsterdam. ‘Three weeks after planting, the trees had developed about ten centimeters of new branches. Before the winter, new roots will have grown and the trees will be fixed, which means that they will have a head start next spring.’

Case: Smart City Houten

Of course it is important for governments to aggregate the ‘green’ sensor data on a higher level in the organization, and combine it with other (sensor) data. That is the only way to get an integrated view which is needed for developing new strategies and policies and create a ‘real’ Smart City. In a pilot project for the municipality of Houten, ConnectedGreen collaborates with partners Nazca IT and Boomtotaalzorg. Nazca IT has developed a Smart City platform, that combines data from many different sensors throughout the municipality. And ConnectedGreen is used by the municipal arborists, in close collaboration with the consultants of Boomtotaalzorg to let the newly planted ‘landmark’ Fagus Sylvatica succeed!

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