The Municipality of Montevideo (IMM) inaugurates this Wednesday the Montevideo Intelligent Station (EMI), a pilot plan of $ 7 million that centralizes various technological applications in the Kibón area, in the Pocitos neighborhood.

Whoever circulates in the area will be able to observe a structure similar to a tree with a wide crown, which acts as a central element of the place. As explained by Carlos Leonczuck, director of Sustainable and Intelligent Development of the commune, the structure will allow to collect rainwater and make an intelligent irrigation of the surrounding area.

The EMI will have a 24-hour public Wi-Fi connection with no time limit for users, and USB chargers implanted in the tree structure. Another device available is a Portuguese technology touch screen to search for events and places in the city, as well as to take photos and make gifs that can be sent from the same device to email.

The space also has an area to park bicycles, inflate them and a kit to fix them on the occasion of a flat tire. In addition, it includes a hot and cold water dispenser that will work 24 hours.

The project had been presented by the commune in November 2018 at the International Summit of Smart Cities, held in Barcelona. Montevideo was one of the six finalist cities, distinguished along with Stockholm (capital of Sweden, Seoul (capital of South Korea), Bristol (United Kingdom) and Curitiba (Brazil).

“We received a hundred strategic projects per year, but sometimes they are heavily about the use of applications or online procedures. These things are not palpable in the city, they are palpable with this type of work, « said Leonczuck.

The chief highlighted that the EMI design is Uruguayan and carried out by national companies, even though there are similar projects in Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Europe.

The director of Public Spaces of the IMM, Álvaro Paciello, explained to El Observador that the place will centralize technological applications already available in the city. As an example, he highlighted that EMI is added to the list of 101 public squares with Wi-Fi connection.

Asked about the surveillance of the place, Paciello said that it will consist of remote monitoring with the mobility and transport cameras that the commune has installed in the area. « The more people and eyes there are in public space, we have found that the less it is vandalized, » he said, and commented that in that sense it will not require the presence of park rangers or private security.

The hierarch explained that the EMI is established in an area of ​​high attendance, since it has on one side the “Montevideo” sign, a tourist attraction installed in the middle of the Rambla. In turn, he said that a nearby lifeguard hut will be an « almost permanent presence at least until night » during the summer.

On the other hand, it will have two guidance counselors to explain the station’s functions to users.

Pilot project

As it is a pilot project, this is the first EMI installed in the city. That is why the commune will monitor its results in order to evaluate a possible extension.

Leonczuck considered that the plan is replicable in the Rambla del Cerro or in any « large open space. »

Paciello indicated that the cameras present in the area will allow us to know the number of people who come to the place daily, how long they remain there and what uses they give it. « It gives us first-hand information to see if the furniture, not only from the station but also around it, is used or needs to be adjusted, » said the chief.

Although the inauguration will be this Wednesday, the commune had estimated in the first instance that the EMI would be functional as of June 16. Through the Montevideo Mejora portal, the IMM argued that the delays were due to the health emergency.