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Christchurch aims to be world's smartest city

A pilot project to turn New Zealand’s quake-hit Christchurch into the world’s smartest city began this week.

Sensors are being installed across the city to stream real-time information on everything from traffic to weather and water systems, and even how many people are on the city’s streets.

The Sensing City scheme has been devised by consultant Roger Dennis with support from Arup. His vision is to position a rebuilt Christchurch as a world leading city by incorporating an integrated network of digital sensors into the infrastructure of its central business district.

Work begins this week on a pilot which will allow residents to test water quality.

Some 200 Little Water Sensor kits created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States have been distributed to students to measure water quality in the city’s waterways.

A second pilot will focus on gathering real time information about a massive, complex road rebuilding programme; and the third will look to build understanding on environmental variables regarding respiratory illness.

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