How Leeds street lights network could be used to check for damp in council houses

The electronic monitoring of the state of gulleys, air quality and even damp in social housing could soon become a reality, as Leeds aims to become one of the world’s ‘smartest’ cities.

Monday, 17th February 2020, 5:09 pm
Updated Monday, 17th February 2020, 5:12 pm

The city could also soon have its very own technology lab to test some of the technologies of the future, that could ensure citizens have a better quality of life.

The ideas were included in a document which outlines plans to turn Leeds into a ‘smart city’, where large amounts of data are used, supposedly to help make better decisions on services.

As part of work into fitting the city’s ‘smart street lights’, a so-called ‘internet of things’ network is being installed across the district. This, the document claims, will not only manage the lights but also ‘enable the deployment of new devices for the collection of data in real time’.

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The network which is set to control new LED street lights in the city could also have other uses, a council document claims.

Such devices could be used to detect hot spots for poor air quality, as well as road temperatures for effective gritting, and road temperatures.

The technology could also have uses in the home, as it could allow the council to monitor damp in social housing.

It also added that data on vehicle counting could be collected and used to deliver messages ‘to influence behaviour change’, such as encouraging people to use public transport rather than their cars.

The document stated: “Services will be able to use this data to monitor conditions and assist them with decision making. For example, daily reports enable Housing Leeds to target homes that have recently fallen below a ‘damp threshold’ meaning that tradespeople can be deployed in the right places to investigate.

“Discovery work is currently taking place to better understand the technical

requirements of the network and how it might be deployed.”

It added the authority was in early discussions with White Rose Office Park to develop a mini ‘smart city’ on their site that could be used to demonstrate how the use of technology and data can help address health, climate, transport and housing problems in the city.

The document states: “A ‘smart city’ is a place that maximises the potential of all of its assets: people (skills, endeavour), information and data (from all parts of the city), businesses and things (devices, technology) that when combined are more than the sum of its parts.

“The world’s most successful cities have smart programmes. London has been ranked by Forbes as the world’s smartest city in 2019 due to its attractiveness to tech start-ups, innovation and data publication. Leeds has signed a declaration to work increasingly closely with London to share best practice and collaborate on projects that benefit both cities.”

The document is set to be discussed in Leeds City Council’s infrastructure scrutiny board on Wednesday, February 19.