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Valmont helped create a smart city ecosystem in Finland

5 min read
May 13, 2023
While still in its infancy, pilot smart city infrastructure demonstrates a real-time pathway to develop more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable urban environments.
  • Project
  • Location
    Espoo, Finland
  • Challenge
    Urban environments are on track to grow substantially in the coming years. With this growth comes the need to conserve energy and reduce environmentally damaging greenhouse gas emissions through more cohesive infrastructure and technology.
  • Solutions
    Valmont® collaborated with a consortium of industry leaders to create a pilot smart city ecosystem that demonstrates in real time how design, sustainable materials and technology can work together for safe, resilient and inclusive future cities worldwide.

More than 75% of global energy consumption and CO2 emissions originate from cities across the globe. In addition, the U.N. estimates that 70% of the global population will live in urban areas by 2050. As a result, cities are making sweeping changes to meet projected population growth and address a worsening climate change crisis. Through a wide-ranging collaboration of more than two dozen industry leaders, including Tehomet, a Valmont Company, the LuxTurrim5G interconnected smart city was established in Espoo, Finland. The project, brought online in 2020, illustrates the possibilities of 5G and other technology to enhance sustainability and reduce carbon emissions. Dubbed LuxTurrim, the Latin word for light pole, the 5G smart ecosystem incorporates 250 interconnected devices over a 1.5-kilometer area in Espoo, Finland, from the Nokia Bell Labs campus to the Kera railway station. Nokia spearheaded the project, working with 26 partners to develop and deploy a network of sensors and technology to support autonomous vehicles and other innovative city applications. Valmont is an established leader in bringing smart city technology into a fully integrated pole. So, when Nokia turned to Tehomet to combine the technologies into a “spine” of galvanized steel poles, the Tehomet team got to work immediately, producing a total of 19 galvanized and powder-coated poles. As project partners identified the high-tech uses for each pole and the equipment was defined and developed, Tehomet developed the structures to support the varying needs and technology. As the spine of the ecosystem, the poles interconnect approximately 250 different electronic devices — the brains of the smart city. There are three 26 GHz base stations, 50 Wi-Fi devices, 75 video cameras, 49 various sensors monitoring air quality, weather, temperature and CO2 levels, nine radar devices, seven information screens, and a drone charging and landing station. All the technology connects to a single, secure data platform. The real-time data provided by the devices enables the possibility to develop a high-level digital twin of the area. It all started with an idea. Thanks to the hard work of the consortium of partners, LuxTurrim5G is now fully operational and provides safer, cleaner public spaces, more convenient transportation and better resource management thanks to its smart devices and data efficiency. LuxTurrim will continue to be a living lab for future developments. It is only a first step for Espoo to meet its sustainability and digital transformation goals as a U.N. model city. Leaders seek to develop the Kera area further into a smart and green urban district, with at least 14,000 residents and 10,000 jobs.

In 2020, the development earned an award at the Traficom 5G Innovation Competition in Finland for its dedication to heightening the visibility of 5G internationally and demonstration of considerable creativity in 5G development. LuxTurrim5G has provided many of the partners with tangible proofs of concepts and solidified a relationship as a consortium to collaborate on future project development, building upon the concepts and cohesive designs of LuxTurrim5G. Since it went online, the ecosystem partners have worked intensively together to build key capabilities out to be replicated in other cities, such as data privacy, design guidelines, understanding of complex business landscapes and operational models. Valmont has created an entire product line family of smart pole offerings available for customization that can be outfitted with the latest interconnected technology. Additionally, several digital services related to public safety, autonomous transport and healthy living also have been prepared by consortium partners for commercialization. LuxTurrim5G is referenced as a working example of smart infrastructure in numerous studies and articles. The project was on full display at Expo 2020 Dubai from October 2021 to March 2022. This global expo takes place every five years and is designed to educate the public through multifaceted experiences and shared stories of innovation and progress. The consortium collaborated on the Expo showcase, developing a smaller version of LuxTurrim with two smart poles and information screens to display the real-time data. Much like LuxTurrim5G, visitors could walk through the display and experience firsthand how the interconnection of technology within the smart poles and real-time data work cohesively to improve an urban environment. As a result of the significant global exposure and immense success of the development, the consortium is in ongoing discussions with potential customers for real-life implementations of the LuxTurrim5G solution.