City parks serve as sanctuaries for many urban residents, offering a chance to commune with nature in an accessible environment away from the hustle and bustle of city life. In recent years, the integration of smart technology has transformed the way park visitors interact with these green spaces. Following are just three of the many ways that smart technology can be used to upgrade a city park.
1- WiFi-Enabled Information Kiosks
Instant access to information is an essential feature of life in the digital age, and visitors to the park will appreciate a WiFi-enabled information kiosk. These kiosks can serve a variety of purposes, such as providing visitors with maps and information about the park’s amenities, including playgrounds, nature trails, barbecue pits, picnic areas, and restrooms. Visitors can also access event calendars, weather information, and relevant historical information. They can also serve as digital bulletin boards for the surrounding community by including information on local events and activities, fostering an overall sense of inclusion and engagement.
Additionally, kiosks can be integrated with public safety systems, enhancing park security by allowing visitors to directly alert local authorities in the case of fire, crime, accidents, or other situations requiring real-time emergency services.
2- Smart Lighting
Traditional park lighting tends to be old-school streetlights and sparsely scattered, dimly lit lamp posts. This not only discourages public use after the sun goes down, but it also has the potential to contribute to a dangerous environment. Smart lighting, on the other hand, provides a range of benefits — the most obvious being the enhanced safety that park visitors will enjoy. Many busy people will appreciate being able to walk the dog, go for a run, or even enjoy a late-night picnic underneath the stars thanks to the presence of smart lighting in their nearby park.
Smart lighting systems can be programmed to automatically adjust the brightness based on available natural light and usage patterns, conserving energy while ensuring that pathways and gathering areas remain well-lit after dark. As an added bonus, smart lighting can also be used to create a variety of location or event-specific ambiance to complement holiday displays, special occasions, or even showcase specimen plants and trees. Imagine a rose garden in bloom under the soft, romantic glow of smart lighting during a summer evening wedding or garden party, or a vibrant, festive atmosphere in the park during a community celebration.
3- Smart Irrigation Systems
Most parks are known for green grass, colorful flowers, and lush, thriving shrubs and trees — but this type of landscape requires a great deal of water to keep it looking its best. In a time when water conversation is paramount, smart irrigation systems can preserve the park’s natural beauty while managing municipal or county water resources responsibly and efficiently, reducing operational costs significantly.
Smart irrigation systems use real-time weather data and sensors that measure variables such as soil moisture and atmospheric humidity to precisely tailor watering schedules to meet the needs of the park’s plants, lawns, and trees.
As cities continue to grow and evolve, smart technology use will become increasingly essential for creating a good urban park environment for everyone.