Control Rooms in Smart Cities

A smart city is an urban area that uses different types of electronic mechanisms and sensors to collect data. The information gained from this data is used to manage assets, resources, and services efficiently via the operator’s console and large video wall.

Utilizing state-of-the-art command and control rooms, information is used to improve operations across the city. Data collected from citizens, devices, buildings, and assets are processed and analyzed to monitor and manage traffic in transportation systems, power plants, utilities, water supply networks, waste, crime detection, information systems, education facilities, medical institute, and other community services.

Smart city technology allows city officials to interact directly with both community and city infrastructure and to monitor what is happening in the city along with how the city is evolving. ICT is used to enhance the quality, performance, and interactivity of urban services, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to increase contact between citizens and the government. Command and control applications are developed to manage urban flows and allow for real-time responses. For most of the countries in Southeast Asia (SEA), Smart Cities bring new meaning to their project development. This is their first implementation of smart cities and accounts for almost one-third of the region’s combined spending.

Every smart city will have numerous setups of control rooms or monitoring centers either with large video walls, operator’s consoles, or both. The control room serves as the heart of the operation – a place where all the data from around the city is collected and viewed. The key function of the control room is to monitor and react to millions of electronic mechanisms, sensors, IoT devices, cameras, and feedback messages. The control room is Actions required by the operators when they receive this information mostly by sending human or robot intervention to the site.

Many factors need to be considered when designing a control room for a Smart City project.

  • Room and display brightness must include a controllable/dimmable lighting system to avoid eye fatigue.
  • Video wall display with uniform color and brightness; bright video wall displays are not practical for daily use. The exception would be if the room is used as a showcase piece.
  • Operators viewing distance to video walls and monitors need to be considered during the design phase. Placing operators at an ideal distance is critical for them to determine and identify data they are monitoring for decision making.
  • Adjustable or scaling of source size and details display on the video to allow operators to customize the content view.
  • 24/7 control room typically has 3 working shifts. Equipping the control room with adjustable, ergonomic consoles and chairs to adapt operator’s heights and comfort levels will help keep minimize fatigue and other issues that can come from sitting for long periods.

The demand for new Smart cities is exploding in SEA. Smart cities are being built in many locations across Vietnam, in particular Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, Binh Duong, and Nha Trang. The biggest project so far is the Smart City project in the north of Hanoi, developed by BRG Group in a joint venture with Sumitomo Group from Japan. With an investment capital of more than $4.1 billion, the 272-hectare smart city will offer future residents full benefits stemming from the synchronous development of modern and sustainable infrastructure and socio-economic development.

Photo source: Sumitomo Group

Leveraging technology based on the Internet of Things (IoT) that optimize infrastructure and government is a better way to connect citizens to managed services is becoming a global initiative. According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Smart Cities could be found in Europe, the United States and other parts of Asia. Jupiter, in partnership with our partners have been working with government agencies to build state-of-the-art control rooms over the past four decades. To learn more about Jupiter’s control room expertise visit