New Kingston to become smart city

Friday, November 25, 2016

New Kingston, the business district of Jamaica's capital, is taking the necessary steps to become a smart city by next year, said Andrew Wheatley, minister of science, energy and technology.

The project will cover street lighting, parking facilities, general communications and security, Wheatley told daily The Gleaner. The pilot will include smart meters, as well as public safety and traffic management systems.

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According to the minister, the smart city initiative consists of a partnership between several entities, so most of the costs would fall outside the government. In addition, the project will leverage on already available infrastructure.

Winsome Callum, director of corporate communications at power utility JPS, said that full rollout of the pilot plan is slated for the middle of next year and her company is already working on installing smart city lighting systems.

New Kingston would be the second area of Jamaica to embark on such a project, with the first being the city of Montego Bay two years ago.

Lucas Pinz, technology director at IT systems integrator PromonLogicallis, recently underscored the role of start-ups in smart city initiatives, as they constantly develop new internet of things applications.