Microsoft and ATCOM are implementing a pioneering pilot project under the "Adopt Your City" initiative.
The transformation of cities into "smart" through technology is the big bet of recent years, on a global and pan-European level. Today, more than 240 European cities have taken similar initiatives to address contemporary urban challenges. Among them, Athens is making a dynamic entry with "Project Athena".
Through new, dynamic synergies, Athens is gradually becoming an innovation laboratory, which implements original ideas in its infrastructure, laying a solid foundation for a sustainable future. Project Athena was named after the goddess of wisdom and the city of Athens. A name ideal to describe the innovative pilot program that will make the capital a "smart" city, bringing significant improvements in the lives of Athenian citizens, through the integration of innovative technological applications.
With the first goal of effectively dealing with two "hot" and chronic problems faced by residents and visitors to Athens, cleanliness and accessibility, Project Athena is operational today.
Project Athena consists of the strategic placement of sensors in the urban fabric, which collect data on street and air cleanliness, accessibility for pedestrians and people with disabilities, noise pollution, temperature and humidity.
Its pilot operation started in Kotzia Square, where the City Hall of the Municipality of Athens is located, and in the area of Kolonaki. Specifically, a total of 10 sensors were placed in waste bins to measure their level, in pedestrian crossings and the disabled to detect their obstruction, at the City Hall of Athens, as well as in individual parts of these areas.
The data collected by the sensors are then fed to a specially designed management platform, to which the Municipality of Athens has unhindered access for their control and analysis. The future interconnection of the platform with the competent authorities will be the driving force for the transformation of knowledge into practice and the substantial improvement of the quality of life of the citizens. The next day of Project Athena, the cleaners will have the opportunity to make smart decisions and plan the waste collection routes in a timely and efficient manner. Also, the use of sensors in the ramp crossings will ensure that they will remain free and will inform about any parked vehicles that obstruct the passage.
Project Athena is an adaptation of ATCOM's "UrbanIntelligence" solution and uses Microsoft technologies.
The Mayor of Athens, Mr. Costas Bakogiannis, stated in this regard: "Athens welcomes the 21st century in practice. We try to exhaust the applications of technology, starting with man and his needs. Sensors do nothing more and nothing less than "measure" the quality of life in the city. In other words, they follow the daily habits of the resident and the visitor and give us data, directly and reliably. They are data that not only enable us to intervene quickly and provide solutions but also that allow us to plan with specific elements. So, we can be more efficient and more precise in any change that takes place in the city ".
Theodosis Michalopoulos, CEO of Microsoft for Greece, Cyprus and Malta, said about the cooperation: "The city that serves its citizens and offers them a high quality of life is smart first and foremost. I am very happy because with our cooperation with ATCOM we offer to the Municipality of Athens those technological tools that will support important aspects of its operation, such as cleanliness or access to the city. The Athena project shows us that collaborations like this one with the Municipality of Athens, give birth to an innovation that focuses on the person and his needs ".
Mr. Konstantinos Theotokas, CEO of ATCOM, said: "We are very happy that, in collaboration with the Municipality of Athens and Microsoft, we embodied the urban vision for an Intelligent Athens, and I would like to warmly thank the Mayor of Athens Mr. Costas Bakogiannis for this unique opportunity. With this project, we have proven that smart sustainable development with vehicle technology is possible today. ATCOM's mission is to accelerate the transformation in every aspect of life, and this is exactly what we aspire to achieve for the people of Athens, starting with the pilot program ProjectAthens ".