philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


What can theme parks teach us about smart cities?

Riesenrad Rummelplatz bei NachtMost are prioritising changes “under the hood”, using IoT and sensors to create more interconnected and cohesive systems for the benefit of inhabitants and to reduce costs.


Take Los Angeles, for example. The city is replacing 4,500 square miles of street lighting with stronger LEDs in a network that reports the maintenance status of each bulb. Additionally, Columbus, Ohio, is investing in initiatives that create sustainable transportation, reduce freight truck congestion using smart logistics, and improve traffic information delivery to its citizens.

Experience is everything

Like theme parks, smart cities benefit from a focus on the guest experience

At first glance, it may appear that theme parks and smart cities could not be more different. However, behind-the-scenes, theme parks are technology-heavy, complex ecosystems that must be run and maintained at maximum efficiency across the lifecycle of their operations. The goal of smart cities and theme parks is ultimately the same as too: providing a better guest experience even if the type of experience may differ.

It is no surprise that some greenfield smart city deployments are using Disney theme parks as a model to create new interconnected destinations, such as Elysium City in Spain. When finished, this initiative will include government buildings, a high-speed rail system, conference centre, data centre, sports stadiums, a marina and more, but the cornerstone will be a theme park to promote tourism.

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