Update on Hampstead as a Smart City

2018-11-23

A year ago, I wrote about how Hampstead was a Smart City and how we planned to become smarter. In September, Hampstead was awarded the Excellence in Municipal Innovation award (top prize) for Quebec cities of 25,00 residents or less. We won for our My Hampstead citizen engagement software which allows you to do many things online without making a trip to Town Hall. This is only the beginning and I urge you to register on our web site if you haven’t already. In order to start getting the benefits of My Hampstead, click on the red tab on the left side of the Home page. Credit for My Hampstead and everything that we do to be a Smart City goes to our one-man IT department – Thierry Houle-Gingras.

Here are just a few of things you can do on My Hampstead: If you are going on vacation and want Public Security to keep an eye on your home, you can notify them online. Once you use the service once, the next time you will only have to complete the information that has changed, such as the dates, and no officer will have to visit to take down the information.

If you need permission for overnight parking, you can do it online up till 2am and the officers will have the information immediately. The first 12 times per license plate are free. Weekly, Monthly and Annual permits can also be obtained online, although the annual ones will require a visit to Town Hall for verification.

Need a new garbage, recycling or compost bin? Order it online. Want to renew your dog license? Do it online. There are many useful features and more are being added all the time. Some things are not yet in the My Hampstead section but can still be done on our web site. You can find the form for all permits and print it without a visit to Town Hall. In the future, you will be able to complete it online using My Hampstead.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Being a Smart City involves more than just providing services online. IoT refers to using sensors to save time and money. We expect to be replacing all our gooseneck lamps with LEDs and motion detection sensors in 2019. A study to determine exactly what we need should be finished very soon. The expected payback in energy savings is about 5 years. The motion sensors will dim the lights when no drivers or pedestrians are on the block, saving even more energy. They will last 10-20 years before needing replacements thus saving manpower costs. Finally, the lower energy requirements mean our underground wires will break less often.

We are looking into various types of sensors. As water meters need to be replaced, we will use Smart water meters so the data can be transmitted without needing someone to read them and we will have a section on our web site where you can see your weekly usage. There will even be a feature that will detect water leaks in your house.

We will have sensors on our public garbage cans so we can send our men to collect the garbage only when the cans are nearly full and the software will map out the most efficient route. Humidity sensors in our flower beds will tell us which need watering and when. These sensors and the related software will save manpower time and provide better resident service and prettier flowers. These are just a few of the many applications that are coming. If you have any ideas for using sensors, let me know and we will seriously consider them.

Finally, we now have free Wi-Fi in Hampstead Park and our public buildings. We will be extending it to additional parks, as this has proven to be very popular.

If you have any comments or questions on this topic or anything related to Hampstead, please e-mail me at wsteinberg@hampstead.qc.ca or call me 7 days a week until midnight at my home office (514) 483-6954.


Sincerely,


Dr. Bill Steinberg
Mayor, Town of Hampstead