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Urban Transportation is Getting ‘Smart’ in Kayseri, Turk...

Urban Transportation is Getting ‘Smart’ in Kayseri, Turkey

Cities such as London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and New York have benefited from using technology in their cities; smart cities use Internet-connected devices and sensors to analyze infrastructure. They can gather data on road conditions, weather, and even the flow of the traffic. This can provide local authorities with information to make their processes more efficient. In

by Najma Leley January 9, 2018
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Cities such as London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and New York have benefited from using technology in their cities; smart cities use Internet-connected devices and sensors to analyze infrastructure. They can gather data on road conditions, weather, and even the flow of the traffic. This can provide local authorities with information to make their processes more efficient.

In May 2016, Transformation Movement of Smart Cities, a movement initiated by the Public Technology Platform (KTP) and public institutions, began implementing smart city technologies for transportation in Turkey.

According to the Transformation Movement of Smart Cities, Kayseri, Turkey is said to be transformed into a Smart City by 2023.

Erdem Akcil, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Public Technology Platform (KTP), told trthaber.com that they have been working on smart city technologies for three years and have prepared these projects with security, savings, and technological facilities that will increase quality-of-life.

Akcil also stated that by 2023, three cities in Turkey; Sakarya, Gaziantep, and Kayseri will be transformed into smart cities within the context of Transformation Movement of Smart Cities and that the initiatives will first take place in Kayseri. He also stated that the project aimed to improve traffic problems by twenty-five percent. Intelligent intersections and vehicle numbers will be determined by establishing business associations between institutions. Sensors will adjust the duration of the traffic lights, which is said to target twenty-five percent of traffic problems in the city; reducing the congestion that makes daily travel so frustrating. That is, sensors, GPS systems, and traffic cameras installed along or at major roads, intersections, and roundabouts could help cities manage traffic flow more efficiently.

Emergency vehicles such as ambulances and firefighters will be monitored by GPS to provide right-of-way, infrastructure for the integration of bicycles with public transport will be added, in addition to the establishment of bike sharing docks. Akcil stated that many additional improvements are to come; such as the standardization of transportation cards. Combining transportation cards that can be used with the bus, bike-share, and smart bus stops that provide advance notice to bus drivers from disabled or elderly passengers.

Bike sharing docking station at Anayurt, Kayseri, Turkey

"We will make life easier with transportation improvement projects."

Akcil stated that seventy percent of the smart city concept in Turkey is about transportation. He also pointed out that the main element of smart urbanization in Turkey is transportation. Akcil stated:

"With projects related to transportation, we aim to make life easier for people in Turkey.  Especially because the country will have a population of 90 million by 2030. We have to plan the infrastructure that works for the future and is economical too. We will import these systems or do it with our own engineers. Our most important task is bringing together the ecosystem of smart city building, public institutions, municipalities, private sector and universities to bring this issue to the agenda of the government.”

With the intelligent intersection system, red light timing will be decreased for less busy or empty passages in order to reduce wait times for vehicles that accumulate at intersections. This will occur where road traffic is most concentrated, increasing the frequency of traffic lights to improve the flow.

Traffic lights will be replaced by intelligent intersections enabling cars with embedded sensors to automatically determine the transition threshold. Therefore, when there is a large number of vehicles, unnecessary waiting will be avoided and the fuel consumption of the vehicles will be reduced. The rate of air pollutants released into the environment will also be reduced.

With the intelligent intersection system, roads to be closed for sports activities, rallies, official holiday celebrations and similar reasons will be detected by the system automatıcally and unnecessary waiting will be avoided with alternative routes. It is aimed to prevent traffic congestion even though the road is busy.

A plate with bar code (QR code) and bus stop number installed on the bus stop at Anayurt, Kayseri, Turkey

In the case of smart bus stop applications, plates with barcodes (QR codes) and the stop number are installed at bus stops. By installing Kayseri city guide application called Smart Kayseri on mobile devices (Smartphone, tablet, and more), and then scanning the barcode on the stop sign people will be able to find out where the bus is located, the bus lines that are stalled, and when the buses will arrive. Also, the approaching buses will be shown in real-time on maps via the mobile app and where the location of the station is located.

Bicycle users can find the closest bike share station to them, and according to the system, they can get instant information about how many empty bikes are on the station and the vacancy rate on the road. To rent a bicycle, a credit card is first applied to the subscriber point and then you can rent a bicycle from a nearby docking station.

With the smart city system, citizens will be provided with conveniences for their lives, as the Mayor of Kayseri, Mustafa Celik said:

"With the smart bus stop system, we will gain efficiency in transportation and public transportation. When our citizens leave the workplace, they will see when the bus will reach home and how to get home, within the shortest distance and shortest time as well, using their mobile phones. Traffic densities will be monitored by mobile applications. Smart lighting systems and intelligent parking systems will also be available. It will take 1 ½ years to get the first steps of this functioning."

Is your city a smart city? Do you think that technology plays an important role in cities? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below.

Credits: Images by Najma Leley. Data linked to sources.

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Urban Planning Blogger

Originally from Kenya and in my final year as an undergraduate student at Erciyes University in Kayseri, Turkey. I moved to Turkey in 2013 to pursue studies in urban and regional planning.

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