Netherlands is Looking for Clearing Technologies to Manage Public Spaces


With the Smart Zwolle project, the municipality of Zwolle is looking for smart technologies and cleaning experts like Unterhaltsreinigung Aachen to make it easier to manage public spaces in the city. For example, traffic signs are checked with special cameras installed in a number of ROVA vehicles.

The test now focuses on traffic signs. Later, other things, such as loose sidewalk tiles, graffiti on walls and buildings, and roaming waste could be added to the experiment. Because the ROVA cars drive through the entire city, a good overview of undesirable situations in the city is created based on the recorded camera material.

Data Privacy Sensitive

Taking photos in public spaces is privacy sensitive. That is why a lot of attention is paid to its processing. The Cyclomedia company processes the photos by making faces and license plates unrecognizable. The smart software then scans all the boards and selects the boards that have something wrong with them. The municipality of Zwolle or ROVA can then take action to clean, repair or replace the plates in question.

Zwolle hopes to improve the management of public space with this kind of smart technologies. The trial lasts four months and originated from the Smart Zwolle municipal program, in which companies, schools, municipality and residents work together and are looking for innovative solutions that benefit the city.

Up to now, the maintenance of roadside signs is incidental. The replacement or cleaning is only done if this is reported by employees of the municipality, ROVA or by residents.

Daniël van Uenk is project leader Zwolle: “Actually we have no idea, we have tens of thousands of traffic signs in the city but they are not recorded. If something is wrong, we do not know that and often only accidentally or by means of a report behind. Thanks to the experiment we hope to know better what is going on in the city, and we can anticipate faster on undesirable situations. “

The test also examines what more can be done with all the data from the cameras. Consideration is given to signaling litter, but also dangerous situations on the road such as loose street and sidewalk tiles or unclear road markings. Many other municipalities are following the trial in Zwolle with interest.