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"Smart City Bench" gives tourists and hikers Wifi in the Alps

11013 Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy
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Goverment Champion

Non-profit local safety organization

Project Status

Operational since 2019

Keywords

Smart City
Parks
recreation
wifi
Smart Bench

Challenges Addressed

Citizen Engagement
Civic Technology
Digital Divide
Snow & Extreme Cold
Asset Management

Motivation

Smart city

Funding / Financing

General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Type

Technology

At a Glance

A "Smart Bench" has been installed at a remote 7,475 foot alpine hut to provide citizens and tourists with hotspot & Wifi connection, and communicate important information about people traffic, trails and conditions.

Problem Addressed

The Courmayeur Municipality and the Secure Mountain Foundation (an Italian nonprofit) manages a series of stone huts - including La Casermetta - in the remote reaches of the Alps. The Foundation was trying to provide services, real time information, emergency alert capabilities as well as a way to provide a solar power source to allow charging of phones and miscellaneous devices. Hikers and skiers use the huts as stopping points throughout their travels. Given the hut’s remoteness, it is extremely difficult to both 1) track the hut's usage to inform staffing and maintenance personnel and 2) provide the internet connectivity that can be critical for safety and enjoyment.

The Courmayeur Municipality and the Secure Mountain Foundation used/is using a smart city bench to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

The Courmayeur Municipality and the Secure Mountain Foundation worked with Canavisia to airlift a smart bench to the Casermetta stone hut (elevation 8,645 feet!) This project allows the Courmayeur municipality and the Secure Mountain Foundation to record the number of people using the Le Casermetta stone hut during the year. This data will be used to validate when municipal employees or Secure Mountain Foundation volunteers should be deployed to the stone hut during times of peak visitations.

The smart bench is connected to the internet. It provides: data collection on people traffic, data collection on environment conditions, night lighting, hot spot wi-fi, wireless USB charging, and audio with built-in speakers. Citizens can use their mobile device to log into the bench and download detailed information about the mountain, such as; trails, directional information, guides on climbing or hiking or anything the municipality would like available to the citizens or tourists.

Of course, the bench also allows for comfortable seating for 3 people. The bench is made of durable materials such as galvanized metals and composite plastics all of which require just general cleaning.

Outcomes

  1. A successful installation was completed and hikers and tourists have been using this new technology.

Who Should Consider?

This bench can also be used in city parks and municipalities to monitor usage during late hours or during inclement weather to help the homeless which may need to seek shelter.

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