Integrated street poles to support intelligent urban services

Yang Jian
More intelligent services will be integrated into new street poles being erected throughout Shanghai this year.
Yang Jian
Integrated street poles to support intelligent urban services
Ti Gong

An integrated street pole on the Bund

More intelligent services will be integrated into  new street poles being erected citywide this year.

Shanghai has finished installing the integrated street poles on more than 100 kilometers of downtown roads, removing unsightly, weathered overhead cables and old poles.

The new street poles, integrated with multiple functions including traffic signals, road signs, surveillance cameras and pedestrian signals, have cables running up from underground.

New “Smart City” functions can include 5G network base stations, temperature and air quality detection as well as signal exchanges between road and vehicles for future automated vehicles, the Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute (Group) Co said on Thursday.

Radars to monitor aircraft in low air space can also be installed in future to expand the application of drones, said Sheng Yong, assistant chief engineer with the research institute of the company. 

Electric vehicles will be able to charge in parking lots near some of the posts in the near future.

Installation finished in downtown landmarks last year, including Hongqiao business hub, Hengfu historical conservation zone, People’s Square, Xintiandi, the Astor House Hotel, Century Avenue and the National Exhibition and Convention Center.

Sixty-nine integrated poles were installed on a 4.6-kilometer-long section of Century Avenue in the Pudong New Area to replace 182 old poles.

The work was one of the most complicated in the project.

Four Metro lines — 2, 4, 6 and 9 — operate beneath the road.

This year, work has concentrated on the North Bund area in Hongkou, Huangxing Road in Yangpu and Hunan Road in Xuhui, said Sheng.

Shanghai plans to rid itself of another 100 kilometers of unsightly overhead cables before the second China International Import Expo opens on November 5, according to the city’s housing and urban-rural development bureau.

Tailored plans have been made for each of the main roads to integrate the infrastructure while avoiding spoiling the overall ambiance.

The most complicated poles on Nanjing Road and Henan Road S., for example, have had nearly 20 functions integrated into a single pole, said Sheng.

Engineers also aim to make the foundations smaller to avoid interrupting traffic and bothering nearby residents, he added.

Shanghai first started to remove the cables in the 1990s. But due to the complicated ownership of the space and limited underground area, only about 600 kilometers of cables managed to be removed in the past two decades. 

The project was basically shelved after 2011 and only re-initiated last year ahead of the first China International Import Expo.

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