The Smart Cities Council has released the 5G City Design Guidance Note, which seeks to respond to the emerging challenges and opportunities for cities and towns from the rollout of next generation 5G telecommunications, small cell densification, Internet of Things (IoT) hardware, smart urban infrastructure and increased city owned smart city assets.
The Guidance Note contains a series of underpinning principles which help build awareness and dialogue among all relevant stakeholders to ensure our streets and public spaces continue to be citizen-focused while ensuring 5G deployment continues.
The fundamentals of street and public right of way design, delivery and operation hasn’t changed in decades, yet the velocity of change in technology deployment and data acquisition currently underway is unprecedented. Cities are being introduced to new forms of mobility and other urban infrastructure everyday, which is placing new demands on our public realm and existing and new technology infrastructure and assets in our streets.
But it isn’t just the physical changes to our streetscape we are seeing – there are also new business models, and opportunities for leveraging value for citizens.
We are entering a new phase in city shaping, with the scale of potential impact in our streets and public realm not experienced since the roll out of overhead power cables and electric lights.
Adding extra complexity to this is the concurrent arrival of new IoT and Wide Area Network assets, and other urban infrastructure technology, all of which is or has high potential to result in significant impacts in our streets.
Importantly, we know that cities are aware of the impending 5G deployment, but there is limited understanding of exactly what it will mean for cities and our streets. Many feel concerned that they are about to be overwhelmed by a mass roll-out in a less than aesthetically pleasing way.
These Guidance Note is a start in helping build awareness and dialogue among all relevant stakeholders.