CENT-R makes Rotterdam future-proof.

By 8 June 2020 NEWS

CENT-R by Lightwell makes Rotterdam future-proof.


In the Rotterdam district of Reyeroord, a pilot with 3 CENT-Rs started on 31 January. Councillor Barbara Kathmann (Economics) unveiled the 3 CENT-R’s at 1.15pm in the street Veenoord. The CENT-R is a ‘platform’, a kind of cabinet that is fully prepared for the future: it can be used for electric charging and can be equipped with 5G internet, cameras, street lights and sensors that can measure air pollution and noise, for example. The CENT-R could also replace the electricity cabinets in the street in the future and handle power smarter. So many features that come together on one platform is unique. At the moment the pilot starts, there is only lighting and electrical charging on the CENT-R. The municipality then started the conversation with the residents and other stakeholders in the district about how they want to continue to use the CENT-R.

According to Kathmann, the CENT-R and the way in which it was achieved typical of Rotterdam’s digitisation approach: “Rotterdam has big ambitions. We want to be a digital model city by 2025. A sensible city where Rotterdam mers are prepared for the future. And that requires smart solutions. At the same time, Rotterdammers also have their concerns about digitisation. With the pilot in Reyeroord we want to show the technical possibilities and start the conversation with the stakeholders in the district about the wishes of the mast, but also about issues such as privacy and security. As a city, how do you ensure that large-scale roll-out of 5G becomes successful with an eye on local residents? How do we ensure that the personal data of residents remains in good hands? How do we make electric driving possible and accessible? The pilot with the CENT-R is a good example of how we investigate this together with local residents.”

CENT-R counters proliferation of objects in the street

Virgil Warnars of Lightwell, the company that developed the CENT-R on behalf of and in collaboration with the Municipality of Rotterdam: “One reason to develop the CENT-R was the energy transition. With the CENT-R it is possible to quickly realize many charging points for electric cars and continuously monitor the air quality. Another reason was the arrival of 5G.” Peter Wijnands of the City Management Municipality of Rotterdam and initiator of the CENT-R, adds: “It is a concept in which the light pole no longer serves as the basis for all kinds of smart city applications, but is part of a standard platform. Modularity is the key word here. This prevents the light poles from looking like glorified coat hangers when there are all kinds of cameras and sensors in them. We want to be ahead of a proliferation of cabinets and poles in the public space. Due to the smart and circular design of the mast, future adjustments are very simple. This means that we can quickly respond to the latest technical innovations.”

Reyeroord as an example
of the future
The pilot with the CENT-Rs in the public space fits with the IJsselmondse district, where several innovative projects are part of an approach where residents, entrepreneurs, businesses and the municipality of Rotterdam work together on the ‘district of tomorrow’.

Practical information
CENT-R stands for Connective Energy Network Tool – Rotterdam. The pilot will continue well into 2020. Research will show whether the pilot could lead to further roll-out of CENT-R’s in the city. The pilot is a project of the client of the Municipality of Rotterdam and developer Lightwell in collaboration with producer Valmont, the Da Vinci College Dordrecht, The Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and installer Citytec.