Smart city, digital city, sustainable city, smart regions… as time passes, local authorities are beginning to take into account these ideas. “At Tours Métropole Val de Loire, we do not yet consider ourselves a “smart city”. However, the “smart” concept is a hot topic that we are working on with the CIO. We know that all cities need to give consideration to this concept”, explains Damien Michaud. Issues such as reducing costs, reducing the carbon footprint or making the region more attractive are motivating a genuine desire to initiate change. For two years now, Tours Métropole Val de Loire has been working on the foundations of its smart strategy: the communication network and smart objects.
Choosing and testing the IoT network: adoption of the private LoRa network
After a period of reflection and investigation to find the most suitable IoT network among the market leaders (Sigfox, operated LoRa, private LoRa, etc.), the city of Tours, Val de Loire, finally reached a commitment with the supplier Kerlink in a test phase based on a private LoRa network. “We are currently at the end of the tests on the private LoRa network. We used an antenna with which we were able to test various sensors linked to the water sector, but also other domains such as fire systems, public lighting or waste management. This allowed us, for example, to determine that on the recycling points market, no smart object fully met our needs, in particular in terms of data management. We therefore decided to manufacture our own objects”, states Damien Michaud.
Led by the technical team, the vision of the “smart” project is reaching maturity. “We are working with the CIO to show the local authority’s decision-makers all the benefits of this “smart” approach and obtain more funding in order to continue. I have also been in contact with certain councillors with whom I have, for example, been able to discuss the possibility of installing smart CO2 sensors in classrooms. If the project comes to fruition, we know that we will integrate these sensors into the Topkapi supervision solution, with which we have already conducted feasibility tests”, continues Damien Michaud.
Topkapi at the heart of the “smart” strategy
As a user of a Topkapi software platform since 2004, Tours Métropole Val de Loire already manages its water cycle requirements from its supervision app. First used for the sanitation service, Topkapi was then extended to the drinking water sector for water production, meter reading, and will soon be used for sectorisation. “I was not aware of Topkapi before I arrived here as an automation specialist. I quickly came to appreciate its openness, with the possibility of interconnecting all the equipment I needed. Topkapi is also a supervision solution, which fits in with the current approach of our local authority. It allows us to retain control over our data during our digital transition”, explains Damien Michaud.
Trained and fully independent in the configuration of their supervision apps, the technical team of Tours Métropole Val de Loire have full control over updates for their solution. “My team and myself like to test new technologies. In AREAL we have found a genuine partner who stands alongside us to respond to our needs and understand our problems”, concludes Damien Michaud. And so in the future, Tours Métropole Val de Loire intends to use the Topkapi software platform for its hypervision.
In brief: why has Tours Métropole Val de Loire chosen the private LoRa?
- A desire to control the communication infrastructure from end to end
- A solution that complements the fibre network available throughout the city
- Most economical and flexible solution for long-term deployment
- Compatibility with the Topkapi software platform and the associated flexibility of integration
For all of these reasons, Tours Métropole Val de Loire is throwing its doors wide open to the digital transition, while retaining its digital sovereignty.