Smart City

Smart City Sentinel

Safer, Smarter Public Venues: Powering Dr. Phillips Center

By Shrey Fadia

This week in Orlando, hundreds gathered for an innovation showcase sponsored by Siemens, and toured a state-of-the-art performing arts center downtown. This landmark destination includes an intelligent infrastructure solution encompassing building automation, fire alarm and security technologies and other services.

Siemens demonstrated its role as a technology partner for the space, commonly known as Dr. Phillips Center, which replaced the Bob Carr Theater, originally opened as the Orlando Municipal Auditorium in 1927.

The venue features a 2,700-seat amplified hall (Walt Disney Theater) for Broadway theater-class play events and a 300-seat venue (Pugh Theater) for smaller shows and events. A third theater, a 1,700-seat acoustic hall (Steinmetz Hall) for ballet, operas, orchestral performances, and banquets began construction on March 6, 2017, with a completion date in 2020.

This over half a billion dollar investment, with two-thirds of the funding from public funds, largely from the Orange County tourist development tax, and the other one-third from private donations, including a large grant from the Dr. P. Phillips Foundation, has been an economic boon for the downtown area, which also boasts a popular convention center.

Siemens helps with safety issues like smoke evacuation, fire alarms, security cameras, door access and other aspects of building technology at Dr. Philips Center. Temperature sensing is also contributing to a great experience for visitors.

The first Broadway production to play the Walt Disney Theater was Cameron Mackintosh's new production of The Phantom of the Opera.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer promotes the venue as one which is also environmentally sustainable, saying “Speaking of green, we’re growing our reputation as the greenest city in the southeast. We effectively run City Hall, all 17 of our fire stations and out police headquarters on solar power. How about that! Now, with the opening of OUC’s new solar farm, more of our residents can power their homes with solar, too. And, we’re working with more that 750 of our largest building owners to reduce the energy output of those buildings.”

Orlando has a partnership with Siemens that will allow the local government to analyze their data and leverage energy, transportation and building technology to plan for growth, reduce their carbon footprint and create jobs.

What Does it Mean to be a Future-Ready City?
The mayor and Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton co-hosted events associated with the flagship technology and innovation conference, Spotlight on Innovation 2019.

The Mayor said that “With business opportunities increasing in the city, we are highly focusing on cybersecurity and protecting data. Technologies like AI, IoT, Machine Learning can help us make our city smart which means leveraging data to help us reach our sustainability goals.”

Over the course of the past year, using Siemens City Performance Tool, the City of Orlando’s Office of Sustainability & Resilience and Office of Smart Cities, Orlando Utilities Commission and Siemens have worked together to analyze what infrastructure technologies are needed in order to achieve the Orlando’s 2040 sustainability goals.

Key findings of this exercise will now become an important tool to help Orlando’s city planners leverage technology in the areas of renewable energy, transportation and building technology in order to meet these ambitious goals.

Orlando now joins the ranks of cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Charlotte, and many others that have leveraged the Siemens virtual city tool as they plan for making these commitments a reality.

“What this tool makes clear are a few things,” the Mayor and Humpton wrote in an article leading into the event. “One, there is no one size fits all approach to reducing GHG emissions. Every city is unique, and the approach will need to be as well. Second, this is a bold task that requires significant planning, investment and commitment from the region. And finally, given the breadth of what needs to be done, no city can meet this type of ambitious goal without the right technologies and the willingness to collaborate.”

You can learn more about Siemens work with the performing arts center here.

Bringing together many of the country’s foremost industry leaders, technologists, mayors, innovators, and even a stuntman-turned-CEO, Spotlight on Innovation is a real-world look at the technologies spanning topics like the gamification of manufacturing, cyber security, city infrastructure, AI and the digital twin that are helping businesses and cities around the world unlock their potential.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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