In the heart of Dijon, a smart city and metropolis in perpetual technological development

In 2017, it was already heralded as the 1st smart city in France. Today, it keeps its top spot with innovations that would make the largest cities in France green with envy.


In Dijon, “smart” is centered around environmentalism

However, it’s a smart environmentalism which doesn’t concern just citizens. Indeed, they think globally in Dijon and consider public utility. For example, lights equipped with sensors that turn the lights down or off when there’s no one in the street.

The creation of this technological innovation is rewarded by the energy savings achieved. In fact, it results in a 65% reduction in the city’s light bill.

The “intelligent” management of street lamps with LED lights, in addition to managing things according to circumstances, is a firm commitment. The EDF/Citelum group is in charge of the city’s lighting. 34,000 street lamps, or nearly all the lights in the city, will be switched to LEDs. Approximately 1,000 of them will be operational by the end of 2019.

A light signaling project is also being studied.


Security at all costs

The smart city also represents the public administration’s goal of providing the best services to residents and guaranteeing them the highest level of security.

A 75-person control center will soon be operational,  and will have the ability to record, filter and capture images of citizens in public spaces. This video surveillance command is used for police, public transport and shared mobility services such as parking lots and bicycles.

It also serves as the administration’s call center. Capgemini wanted to make this unit a multidisciplinary hub, capable of centralizing and dispatching all requests to the administration in order to:

  • Join together various computer systems
  • Analyze the data collected
  • Provide recommendations

The center is also designed to manage possible crisis situations requiring mass public alerts.

François Rebsamen hopes “to more quickly intervene, and in a rational manner” when necessary.

In fact, the city’s mayor has even planned a special application that will enable Dijon residents to contact emergency services more quickly.


The smart city of Dijon: pros and cons

The project costs a total of 105 million euros and will end in 2030.

With this financing, François Rebsamen also provides for the creation of an ethics committee specializing in the verification of personal data. As such, the city’s 257,000 residents can be reassured: the smart city conceived by François Hollande’s former Minister of Labor aims only to use the data collected and not to abuse it.

Only the most resistant remain cautious in view of the colossal advances. And not every city has the financial resources to put towards the development of a smart city in its metro area.

What’s more, the scale of the project can be intimidating: who can say that the technologies used today won’t be obsolete tomorrow? Will the infrastructures put in place will comply with the principle of interoperability?

Come back in 2030 for the answer!


To read: Smart City: 10 projects that make cities smart