€2.1 billion savings possible

Replacing Europe’s ageing streetlight network with smart lampposts would save taxpayers up to €2.1 billion each year according to Sharing Cities programme director Nathan Pierce. At present €3 billion is spent on streetlighting across Europe every year Sharing Cities states. With some 75 per cent of all streetlights across Europe more than 25 years old there would also be cost savings in reduced maintenance costs.

As well as more efficient lighting smart lampposts can perform a range of tasks including monitoring air pollution and guiding drivers to empty car parking spaces. Smart lampposts can also use data to help cities tackle the chronic congestion problems that are stifling economic growth and driving up air pollution levels. Traffic jams cost EU member states €100 billion a year, with congestion exacerbated by motorists forced to waste time searching for a city centre car parking space. Smart lampposts use sensors to collect data on where car parking capacity exists. Motorists are then guided to empty car parking spaces via audio messages delivered by smart lampposts. This significantly reduces the amount of time cars spend on the road searching for an available space.

EU smart cities programme Sharing Cities is pioneering the delivery of smart lampposts in six cities across Europe, including London, Lisbon and Milan. The programme is also delivering solutions in fellow cities Bordeaux, Burgas, and Warsaw.