Adapting todays urban environments for what tomorrow will bring.


Dear Reader,
Cities around the world are facing challenges their original planners could have never imagined. Ballooning populations, air pollution, and resource accessibility are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to adapting today’s urban environments for what tomorrow will bring. Because we can’t just start over and build a new New York or a new Shanghai from scratch, innovative solutions are needed to equip cities with the technology necessary to adapt and adjust.

This starts with infrastructure system solutions. Infrastructure moves people and goods, it powers our lives, it fuels growth. City leaders worldwide are therefore finding that they need to reinvent their infrastructure for a low-carbon economy by reducing energy consumption, decreasing emissions, becoming more attractive to investors, and increasing citizen comfort. The main challenge is how.

In this edition of urbanDNA, we look at how a more intelligent approach to infrastructure can answer this question and help city planners get more out of what they have and make the most out of what they build. For example, we speak to Tom Wright, Executive Director of New York’s Regional Plan Association, to discuss how a megacity like New York is preparing for the future, as well as how NYC is adjusting its plans to fit the expectations of New Yorkers.

We also look at how global demand for building efficiency is rapidly rising. Founding chair and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council, Rick Fedrizzi, tells us about his globe-spanning ambition of improving the places where people live, work, learn, and are cared for and how this translates into action (“Ingredients for Green Living”). And in Singapore, a leader in Intelligent City Infrastructure, we look at how leading mobility research is playing a key role in developing a clear vision for the city’s short- and long-term future (“Singapore’s Race for Mobility Solutions”).

Cities are obviously taking concrete steps to improve their sustainability, while considering how to leverage financial mechanisms to help deliver the infrastructure that is so critical to future development. We also look at innovative financing options that are offering increasing possibilities to make sure infrastructure is delivered, particularly when public finances are curtailed (“Financing Thameslink”).

The issues that cities face will always present challenges to city planners, politicians, business owners, and residents. How we choose to address them depends on us, and in this, we can all learn from each other’s struggles and successes. I hope that the experiences and examples you find in the next pages will help you approach your own city’s infrastructure challenges with a bit more knowledge and a few more resources than before.

Shaping New York’s Future

Cover Story

For nearly a century, the Regional Plan Association (RPA) has achieved success with almost every one of its proposals to develop the infrastructure in the tri-state region of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. RPA Executive Director Tom Wright has touched on the mobility challenges the metropolis faces in an interview in Manhattan with urbanDNA.

Interview by Roman Elsener, journalist based in New York

Tom Wrights Facts:

Tom Wright (45) is the Executive Director of the Regional Plan Association. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the RPA and coordinates activities with the Board of Directors. Previously, he was deputy executive director of the New Jersey Office of State Planning, where he coordinated production of the New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan (2001).

Wright lectures extensively on growth management and regional planning. He is a visiting lecturer in public policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; and the New Jersey Institute of Technology School of Architecture.

Tom Wright resides in Princeton, N.J., with his wife, Cameron Manning, and three daughters.

Who are the people that will benefit from mobility solutions you are planning for the city of the future?

Tom Wright: Cities are attractive for both young and old. Young adults, even teenagers, want to live in the vibrancy and excitement of cities, and they are highly mobile and well connected – “the creative class,” as we call them. At the same time, the baby boomers, those more than 70 million Americans who were born just after World War II, are now moving into retirement. They’ve realized that they would rather live in cities, too, and prefer to live in a community with young people, lively street life, and a park and other amenities nearby.

GPS data gathered by New York taxis is used to monitor congestion.

How can cities accommodate popular demand
for more mobility?

They have to try to enhance the customer experience. The Bloomberg administration very effectively opened up the city to using data to drive policy. With new technology, customers want to be informed, and they are willing to share their data in order to be able to enjoy rapid transportation and information about how to travel. Data is the new natural resource: It needs to be analyzed and applied, for example for traffic management. In New York, all taxis had to install GPS transponders, which offer very valuable data: The 25,000 cabs roaming the streets of New York provide a model of where there is traffic congestion and where not. It’s a very effective monitoring tool.

How can the commuting experience
in New York be improved?

New York’s subways transport about 8 million people a day.

I remember New York City subways in the 1970s and 1980s, when they were covered with graffiti. They were dangerous and scary, a grim place to ride. Today, the subways are on time. They move about eight million people every single day, and it’s a miracle of engineering what they do. But they haven’t yet taken the next step to enhance the customer experience – providing Wi-Fi within the system so that people are still connected: when there is an interruption in service, you tell commuters right away. People expect to have information, and they won’t sit on a platform waiting for a train for 30 minutes without getting furious.

The RPA is working on its 4th plan for future traffic solutions for the New York area. What are the most pressing issues that will be addressed in this new plan?

We will push for high-speed rail in the Northeast Corridor; and we call for congestion pricing for New York City, both to manage traffic congestion and raise revenues for transit investment. The plan will also define ways to accommodate one million more New Yorkers. The Port Authority plans to extend the PATH rapid transit subway from downtown Newark to Newark Airport. This will connect Newark Airport to the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, creating a transit link to an airport as well as supporting the new business district.

The High Line is a converted stretch of former railroad in Manhattan, redesigned as an elevated urban park.

In which fields of planning for the New York region
do you want to see improvements?

We’ve successfully used our environmental prerogatives to identify large landscapes and create new zoning and planning frameworks that protect the water supplies. We’ve been less successful at providing economic opportunity. We have not yet figured out exactly how to use this regional and metropolitan perspective to help the poorest neighborhoods within this region.

What are the advantages of long-term planning
for a city?

Without a clear vision of where you are trying to go, I don’t think cities can do anything efficiently. They don’t know where to invest their resources. They don’t know what their population will like in the future. They don’t know what they’re building for, who they’re building for, or what they want to become. They have not only to collect and analyze their data, but to make it publicly accessible.

In your opinion, where can Siemens help with
mobility solutions for big cities?

Siemens is not only on top of the game with new technology solutions, but has experience in building infrastructure systems that are highly resilient, efficient, and effective. Whether it’s in energy, mass transit, or traffic management, Siemens is helping to increase capacity for the next generation.

Who are the people that will benefit from mobility solutions you are planning for the city of the future?

A transport network underpins economic activity and is key to competitiveness. Yet cities often cite transport among their top challenges. Globally, transport infrastructure is aging or underdeveloped and under increasing strain due to urbanization and population growth. So how can cities improve their transport systems, given financial constraints?

New research from transport consultancy Credo will help cities make the case for investment. Commissioned by Siemens, the study establishes the economic cost of inefficient transport and the potential economic benefit of improving transport levels to best-in-class.

Download the full report from

Singapore’s Race for Mobility Solutions


The Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) published its updated Land Transport Master Plan in 2013, setting out a vision for land transport in Singapore for the next 20 years. The LTA developed the plan, which aims at fostering urban mobility, in response to three key changes that have evolved over the past five years: the population has increased expectations of a better quality of life and correspondingly an improved travel experience; an increased demand for transport, driven by a larger economy; and greater population and tighter land constraints.

Text by Glenn van Zutphen, journalist based in Singapore

Compact city-state: Singapore’s 5.4 million residents live on an island of just 710 square kilometers.

Behind the scenes, Singapore is becoming a magnet for research into the handling of mobility issues through collaborations between the public and private sectors. Two examples of such collaborative research programs are the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and TUM CREATE – a joint electromobility research project between Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and the Technische Universität München (TUM).
Researchers say that Singapore’s advanced technological infrastructure and willingness to innovate in a geographically small area make it the perfect place to look for genuine solutions to its growing population. Meanwhile, the government is integrating high-tech mobility solutions into the island’s urban plan to help manage these challenges, such as procuring and building additional Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) lines and extending existing ones. Siemens is involved as a supplier of signaling systems and a medium-voltage traction power supply system for a driverless metro, as well as project management, installation, testing, and commissioning services.

Commuters squeeze into an MRT East-West Line train at Paya Lebar Station.

Intelligent Roads

Aboveground, roads take up 12 percent of the land space in Singapore. Because there is so little land, the growth rate of the island’s vehicle population must be closely managed. The city has introduced one of the world’s first Electronic Road Pricing systems (ERP) – tolls that vary according to traffic flows and work as a congestion charge deducted from smart cards inserted in vehicles.

Other intelligent elements include an Expressway Monitoring and Advisory System (EMAS) that alerts motorists to accidents on major roads, and a GPS system installed in taxis, which monitors and reports on traffic conditions around the city.

Smart traffic control systems and the provision of real-time traffic information to the public are among the measures that have made Singapore one of the least congested major cities in the world.

All information from the systems feeds into the Intelligent Transport System’s Operations Control Centre, which consolidates the data and provides real-time traffic information to the public. Due in part to these measures, Singapore is one of the least congested major cities in the world.

Smart Cars

Innovation is also being fostered in the area of individual mobility. EVA, for instance, was designed by the TUM CREATE team as the first electric taxi tailored to the needs of tropical megacities. The idea of using electric cars as taxis has so far been held back by the long downtime periods for recharging. EVA’s super-fast charging requires only 15 minutes to replenish its battery enough to cover 200 kilometers of travel – based on typical Singaporean driving patterns with air conditioning switched on. With short, rapid recharge times, taxi drivers can now quickly recharge for the next part of their shifts during a break. Here, too, Siemens is involved as a supplier of smart grid applications that maximize the benefit of electromobility.
At the 2013 City Climate Leadership Awards Singapore's Intelligent Transport System won the Intelligent City Infrastructure category, awarded by Siemens and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.

While taxis, buses, and trains are part of the solution, there’s still the problem of travel time from the starting location to the start of the transportation network (e.g., the MRT station) and traveling time from the end of the transportation network to the final destination. A collaborative project between SMART and the National University of Singapore is developing driverless cars that aim to resolve this “first- and last-mile problem”.

Around the Neighborhood

When one looks at the situation in other Southeast Asian cities, Singapore has taken a clear lead in the race to research and develop traffic solutions. These not only serve as models and sources of urban planning and technology development expertise to other cities in the region; they have also been critical in securing local political support and are possible exports to other Asian countries.

It is imperative to address the mobility issues of cities across Southeast Asia. For now, Singapore is at the forefront of research and test bedding innovative solutions.

On the Frontlines of the Information Revolution

Data Centers

Data centers are the hubs of our increasingly information-based world. And as demand for storage soars, these facilities confront enormous challenges. In 2011 alone, more than 1.8 zettabytes of digital information were created and stored – the storage equivalent of 57.5 billion 32-gigabyte iPads. IT experts say the amount of data stored worldwide doubles every 18 months.

Text by Peter Jaret, journalist based in California/USA

John Kovach: Global Head, Data Center Solutions

John Kovach, Global Head of Data Center Solutions, identifies the four key challenges that data centers must address to successfully meet future demand:

Environmental issues

Information storage technologies are responsible for about 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Data centers are looking for ways to reduce consumption of electricity and thereby be more energy efficient. Renewable energy sources such as solar or hydro represent one solution for power-hungry data centers. In addition, finding innovative ways to cool data center equipment can dramatically reduce costs and carbon footprint.

Safety and security

Like traditional factories, data centers must address fire and seismic safety concerns as well as employee safety. But they also must meet the challenge of keeping sensitive data from being accessed by unauthorized users.

Reliability and maximum uptime

Data centers must operate reliably around the clock. Any interruptions are costly. The per-minute cost of downtime has increased 41 percent in the last three years. Over the past two years, 91 percent of data centers have experienced an unplanned outage. Roughly 84 percent of data centers experienced problems with power, space, and cooling capacity that negatively impacted their operations in the past year.

Data center operators try to minimize operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy consumption and through efficient cooling.

Reduced construction cycles

The unprecedented increase in demand creates pressure to reduce construction cycles in order to get new facilities up and running as soon as possible. A traditional factory might require three to five years from concept to commissioning. A data center of the same scope expects to complete the cycle in just 12 months.

Green Avant-garde


The city of Zhuhai has an ambitious plan. It wants to organize the cleanest, greenest traffic in all of China, and it wants to become one of the best cities in the world with regards to green mobility within the next ten years.

Text by Justus Krüger, journalist based in Hong Kong

This is all the more remarkable because outside of China, hardly anyone has ever even heard of Zhuhai. Small wonder: It is not a very large city by Chinese standards. Zhuhai has 1.5 million inhabitants, and there are about 120 cities of this size in China. Their number is expected to double within the current decade.

This growth is part of China’s urbanization – the largest migration from country to city in all of human history. Approximately 350 million people are expected to leave their villages and move into urban centers within the next two decades. The greatest part of these migrants will be absorbed into smaller and medium-sized cities. If the likes of Zhuhai are doing well, the urbanization of China will be a success.

China’s greenest city

Situated at the point where the Pearl River meets the South China Sea, Zhuhai has a reputation in China as one of the greenest, prettiest, and most livable cities in the country. Right next to Macao and close to – but not part of – the huge industrial zone clustered around Shenzhen and Hong Kong on the opposite shore of the Pearl River, Zhuhai intends to build on its lead and become China’s most ecologically advanced city within the next ten years.

The Chinese Miami

This aim is well in line with Zhuhai’s image – and self-image – of being at the forefront of sustainable development in China. The city sees itself as a place not only for work and business, but also for the sheer pleasure of life. With its palm-studded beaches and subtropical climate, the area around Zhuhai bears some similarity with Florida, and the city itself has an attraction throughout the country that is comparable to that of Miami.

Smart economy

Zhuhai isn’t only beautiful, it is also an economic powerhouse in its own right. Its per-capita GDP is among the highest in China, and its economy is based on knowledge-intensive sectors such as software development, biotechnology, and pharmacy. This economic structure also helps Zhuhai to reach its goal of ecological excellence.

Green traffic

The key that could help Zhuhai reach its ambitious goal of becoming a world leader with regards to sustainable development is the organization of green traffic. Together with Siemens and other partners, the city developed a roadmap to cover 80 per cent of its mobility by public transport, bicycles, and pedestrians. This would make Zhuhai a model city with regards to green mobility in China and beyond.


Situated on the western bank of the Pearl River Delta, Zhuhai is extremely well connected. The high-speed railway to Canton covers the approximately 120 kilometers through a densely populated area in 46 minutes. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, currently under construction, will further enhance Zhuhai’s connectivity. With a projected length of approximately 50 kilometers, it will be the longest cross-sea bridge in the world.

The future

Zhuhai is in some ways an exceptional case, located as it is in an area that is also known as the Chinese Riviera. At the same time, Zhuhai represents the future for many Chinese cities of its size. Zhuhai is not alone in having green ambitions.

Many Zhuhais

Zhuhai has about 1.5 million inhabitants. There are approximately 120 cities of comparable size in China. Many of them are aiming at sustainable development in the way that Zhuhai does. If Zhuhai and other cities like it succeed, their combined impact will be decisive for sustainable urban development in China. With its consultancy, Siemens can support their efforts to enhance citizens’ quality of life while boosting economic growth.

Hard Hats - Siemens at Work

Hard Hats

Cities are permanently under construction. The Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector is involved in a broad range of projects worldwide. The following pages illustrate the technological and geographical scope of the Sector’s portfolio, which is as diverse as the customers it serves.

Smart Microgrid for the University of Genoa

At the University of Genoa’s campus in Savona on the Mediterranean coast in northern Italy, an advanced microgrid was realized in order to reduce energy consumption and create fewer emissions – but also to study the behavior and integration of multiple generation, storage, and consumption units in an electric system. The smart polygeneration grid connects, among others, three cogenerative micro gas turbines, a photovoltaic solar plant, three concentrating solar power units with electrochemical storage units, E-mobility charging units, and residential thermal units. Conceived as a modular and flexible smart grid, in future it will also integrate a building management system, further storage units, as well as micro wind turbines.

At the heart of the low and medium voltage microgrid is Siemens’ Decentralized Energy Management System (DEMS). The system acts as a smart energy manager, controlling and monitoring the campus’ internal distribution grid on the basis of real-time data and forecasts. While switches collect signals from various field devices such as smart meters, protection devices, and remote terminal units, the system can also communicate with other entities to collect weather data or receive updates from the E-car operation center on the campus.

The data collected from the smart microgrid at the University of Genoa’s Savona campus will provide valuable insight into the management of much larger grids with equally diverse generation structures.

  • DEMS (Decentralized Energy Management System)

Northern German Hospital’s
Responsibility to Save Energy

At the Hospital of Bremerhaven-Reinkenheide the environment profits, too, as 4,130 tons of CO2 are saved every year.

Today, hospitals are under immense cost pressure. Rising healthcare costs and energy costs that increase by 4 to 8 percent each year pose a threat. The clinic of Bremerhaven-Reinkenheide in the far north of Germany cites responsibility as one of its guiding principles – not only towards their patients’ wellbeing, but also towards the environment and the hospital’s sustainable upkeep. This is why the hospital, inaugurated in 1976 as a modern and leading edge therapeutic and diagnostic center, decided to upgrade its building installations to the latest technological standards in energy efficiency.

Siemens was commissioned to modernize and optimize the installations. The construction period took 12 months during which the hospital with its more than 700 beds had to remain fully operational. The highest potential for energy saving was identified in adapting the heat supply of the building to the actual need. Highly efficient circulation pumps and a new heating circuit were installed, which now contribute substantially to slashing the overall energy consumption by more than 25 percent, saving EUR 519,000 every year.

Thanks to Siemens Financial Services’ and Building Technologies’ innovative Energy Saving Performance Contracting, a sale-and-lease-back model, the hospital never had to take any financial risk. The investment costs are financed by the annual energy cost savings over a contract period of 10 years ending in 2019. The hospital can now concentrate on its core responsibility: healthcare.

  • More than 700 beds
  • 12 months of renovation works
  • 25 % cut in energy consumption
  • EUR 519,000 annual savings
  • Saves 4,130 tons CO2 per annum

Vectron is Finland’s Locomotive of Choice

Thanks to extensive testing all over Scandinavia, the Vectron locomotive has already proven it can operate reliably under extreme climatic conditions.

The new locomotive generation Vectron, based on a successful technical platform solution enabling Siemens to design and manufacture vehicle variants for country-specific requirements, is going from strength to strength in Europe. While authorization has already been granted for Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Sweden, recently Finland has announced it will also join the Vectron family.

Finnish Railways VR Group placed an order of 80 Vectron locomotives worth more than EUR 300 million, including an option for an additional 97 locomotives, as well as the maintenance of the locomotives over a period of ten years. “For Siemens this marks the largest single contract so far for its latest generation of Vectron locomotives and the first for this type in the broad gauge version,” said Jochen Eickholt, CEO of the Siemens Rail Systems Division.

“The electric locomotive manufactured by Siemens is well suited to the challenging conditions in Finland,” emphasized VR Group's President and CEO Mikael Aro. Designed to operate reliably even under the extreme climatic conditions in Scandinavia, the Vectron locomotives are scheduled to be delivered one after the other from 2016 onwards. In 2026 the entire fleet will be complete.

  • 80 Vectron locomotives
  • Order value more than EUR 300 million
  • Option for a further 97 locomotives and 10-year maintenance contract

E-Houses for Mozambique Seaport

Mozambique is rebuilding its infrastructure in the Nacala Corridor in a plan to link the coalmines in the mountainous Tete Region with the port town of Nacala-a-Velha. This major scheme includes the building of a new deep-water port and a 912-kilometer railway line, which are both scheduled to be operational by 2015. Siemens has been contracted by the CLN (Corredor Logistico Integrado Nacala) joint venture – formed by Vale, Brazil’s largest mining company, and Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique, the state-run railway company – for both components of the Nacala Corridor development. The Low and Medium Voltage Division will deliver and install a turnkey solution to electrify the Nacala coal port, and the Rail Systems Division is to equip the railway connection (see article “Africa`s Rail Renaissance”).

To supply power to the entire seaport facility, Siemens will provide transformers and medium- and low-voltage switchgear as well as suitable motor control centers to supply power and control the conveyor belt motor drives. The low and medium voltage systems will be contained in prefabricated power distribution units known as e-houses. Five e-houses will be shipped as turnkey solutions from Germany to Mozambique. The advantage of e-houses is that they are transported to the installation site fully assembled and pretested, where they can be quickly put into operation. The e-houses will be protected against coal dust by overpressure and against the salty sea air by special offshore coatings.

  • 1 substation for transformation from 110 kV to 22 kV
  • 5 e-houses for medium and low voltage distribution
  • 20 compact stations for transformation from 22 kV to 400 V
  • EUR 56 million order volume

World’s Largest Subway Project in Riyadh

A tailored turnkey subway system will help Riyadh adapt its urban transportation system to rapid population growth.

Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, is grown rapidly and has doubled in population since 1990. Now a city of five million inhabitants, traffic has become a serious challenge. So far it has been relying on diesel buses for its urban transit needs. As a more sustainable solution, Riyadh is now planning the world's largest subway project with six lines and a total route length of 175 kilometers.

Siemens is to supply the entire turnkey system for two of these lines, which will be serviced by 74 driverless Inspiro metro trains, including electrification and signaling technology as well as train control systems for driverless operation. Siemens is also responsible for the integration of all rail technology systems along the 63 kilometers of the two lines. The aluminum-bodied trains will run on standard-gauge tracks at a top speed of 90 kilometers per hour. The signaling and train control technology ensures that especially during rush hour trains can operate at 90-second intervals, an operating frequency that enables the system to handle 21,000 passengers per hour.

The two- and four-car trains have been adapted to the region's particular climate. One such feature is a higher capacity air conditioning system, capable of delivering sufficient cooling power to ensure the wellbeing of passengers even in extreme heat. In addition, the bogies, traction drive, brakes, and doors have been fitted with special seals and filters in order to reduce the ingress of sand.

  • Order value approx. EUR 1.6 billion
  • 2 metro lines of a 6-line, 175-km subway system
  • 74 Inspiro metro trains
  • Signaling technology and electrification for driverless operation
  • Integration of all rail technology systems
  • 21,000 passengers per hour

Turnkey Metro Line links Gurgaon
to Delhi Transit Network

Siemens supplied and integrated all of the rail technology in this turnkey project.

The Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon Limited has commenced passenger operation on the six-kilometer metro line in Gurgaon, in the metropolitan area of Delhi. Siemens supplied all of the rail technology, from the trains and the electrification systems, the installation of the service workshop and the signal technology, to the system integration. It is the first time that Siemens not only supplied subsystems in India, but was also responsible for the key components and their integration, including the interfaces, in the construction of a turnkey rail system.

The newly inaugurated line links Gurgaon Cyber City, a business and residential district located some 30 kilometers south of central Delhi, to the capital's metro network. Around two million commuters travel by metro every day in India’s second largest city. The Gurgaon line is built to cope with an expected volume of approximately 30,000 passengers per hour, with each train providing a maximum transport capacity of about 800 passengers.

The existing line will be extended by around seven kilometers to the south by the end of 2015. Again, Siemens was awarded the contract to implement this extension as a turnkey rail system. Further turnkey metro lines are currently being completed in Rennes, France, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as well as the tram system for Doha, Qatar.

  • 6-km metro line
  • 7-km extension to the south by 2015
  • Turnkey system
  • 800 passengers per train
  • 30,000 passengers per hour

Hong Kong: Central Energy Monitoring
for over 50 Branch Buildings

In Hong Kong’s humid subtropical climate, maintaining cool and pleasant ambient conditions in office buildings is vital to the economic powerhouse’s staggering productivity. On the downside, cooling systems in buildings consume vast amounts of energy.

Operating more than 50 branches, Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong decided all of its buildings in Hong Kong and Kowloon should operate more efficiently and use less energy. They also wanted to easily track and control energy use at its facilities – all while maintaining the highest level of comfort.
Siemens conducted energy audits at selected locations to determine possible energy savings, thus helping Standard Chartered Bank to meet its sustainability goals. “We are also reviewing the feasibility of renewable energy for our organization,” adds Arnald Ng, Head of Facility Management, Corporate Real Estate Services in Hong Kong.

Today, a new, customized building management system and an Energy Monitoring and Control (EMC) program from Siemens allow the bank to manage its energy and water consumption from a central location, ensuring comfort while reducing costs. An upgraded alarm management system provides more effective management of critical areas such as server rooms and data centers that are crucial to banking operations. Siemens also conducted LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) workshops as well as energy audits and upgraded the alarm management system.

  • Over 50 branch banks
  • Central Energy Monitoring and Control system

Chicago O’Hare: First U.S. building with Desigo CC
Building Management Station

State-of-the-art building technology is a key component in improving the experience of visitors to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport is currently the fifth-busiest airport in the world with almost 70 million passengers per year. And it is also the first building in the United States to implement Siemens’ latest high-standard building management station, Desigo CC. The City of Chicago Department of Aviation, the airport operator, chose Desigo CC not only to control the building climate, but also to save energy and costs.

Based on state-of-the-art technologies and open, standard protocols, Desigo CC can interact with multiple building systems such as building automation, lighting, fire safety, and security, as well as power and energy. In addition to improving a building’s performance, it is also flexible and allows for customization – on the management as well as on the user side of the system.

“Desigo CC is simple to use and the web-based interface allows for quick access to all required information at all times,” said Dominic Henry, Chief Operating Engineer of the City of Chicago Department of Aviation. Thanks to real-time and remote access capabilities, including system alerts via email and SMS, building managers know what is happening where at all times. Thus they can make smarter, faster decisions – a key advantage to making 70 million passengers a year feel comfortable and safe.

  • 70 million passengers per year
  • First Desigo CC in the U.S.
  • Total Building Solutions with 50,000 badges and 40,000 data points

U.S. Vice President Biden Welcomes
Amtrak Locomotives

The Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, in the driver’s cab of the first Siemens-built electric locomotive for Amtrak.

The first of 70 electric locomotives – assembled at the Siemens solar-powered rail manufacturing plant in Sacramento, CA, from equipment entirely supplied by other Siemens plants and manufacturers from 60 cities and 23 states in the U.S. – entered passenger service in February 2014. The new locomotives will pull Amtrak coaches on the busy Northeast Corridor from Boston via New York to Washington.

In an inauguration ceremony held at Philadelphia’s 30th Street rail station on February 6, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined Siemens and Amtrak executives to emphasize the importance of this next-generation rail transportation for the country’s infrastructure – and for reviving its manufacturing tradition.

Amtrak awarded Siemens the USD 466 million (EUR 338 million) contract in October 2010. For Siemens, this order marked the company's entry into the American locomotive market. The locomotives, known as the Amtrak Cities Sprinter, are capable of pulling 18 train cars at a maximum speed of 125 miles per hour (200 kilometers per hour). Based on Siemens’ Eurosprinter and Vectron locomotives, the locomotive’s technical design enables quick and cost-efficient maintenance, potentially saving Amtrak several hundred million dollars in operating costs over the fleet’s entire life cycle.

  • 70 electric locomotives entirely produced in the U.S.
  • Capable of pulling 18 train cars with up to 125 mph
  • Able to operate with 3 overhead line voltages: 25 kV, 12.5 kV and 12 kV
  • USD 466 million contract

Smart Grid Competence in New Brunswick

Siemens and NB Power, the Canadian province of New Brunswick’s state-owned electric utility, have formed a long-term strategic collaboration to support the implementation of the utility’s Reduce and Shift Demand (RASD) modernization plan. Using Smart Grid Compass methodology, Siemens has designed a road map for NB Power that will utilize its Demand Response Management System (DRMS) and Decentralized Energy Management Suite (DEMS), allowing the utility to manage electricity distribution in a more flexible, intelligent and efficient way.

The integration of smart grid technology into New Brunswick’s electrical system is supported by the newly formed Siemens Smart Grid Center of Competence in Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick, as well as by a new global product development lab. The latter will host both the design and rollout of smart grid software.

“Partnering with Siemens on smart grid provides us with the opportunity to recreate our relationship with our customers. We want to place our customers at the centre of our electrical system and work with them to modernize the way they use energy in the future,” said Gaëtan Thomas, CEO of NB Power.

For end-consumers, the new technology means that they will have more choice about how and when they use their electricity in the future. The Siemens technology will enable NB Power to introduce innovations such as information dashboards and smart thermostats.

  • Demand Response Management System
  • Decentralized Energy Management Suite

Fire Protection for Eco-Friendly
Black Forest Holiday Home

In the small town of Elzach-Yach in the picturesque Black Forest region in southern Germany, the building company Sigmund Burger Bauunternehmen GmbH constructed the five-star multi-apartment holiday home ZeiTraum entirely from timber. Knowing that in Germany alone, the primary cause of around one-third of all fires is electricity, of which just under 30 percent are caused by electrical installation faults, the owners wanted to implement an enhanced fire protection system for their timber building.

Many of these fire hazards, from electric cables to load, can be detected with Siemens’ pioneering arc fault detection (AFD) technology at an early stage. The implementation of the four 5SM6 AFD units added a high level of safety to the structure, as guests often bring their own appliances, such as hairdryers, and the apartments are not permanently occupied, while refrigerators continue to run. If faulty appliances cause an arc fault, conventional fuses are not capable of detecting it, while AFD units immediately disconnect the circuit – thus protecting human lives, buildings, and irreplaceable assets. For easy handling of the electric installations, the Logo! microcontroller system was chosen – unlike conventional bus systems, Logo! can be controlled with normal switches.

  • Four 5SM6 Arc Fault Detection units
  • Miniature Circuit Breakers
  • Residual Current Circuit Breakers
  • Logo! Microcontroller System

Building a Better Future - Rick Fedrizzi: Motivated for Green Living


The head of the organization that certifies more green buildings than any other is passionate about his work. Rick Fedrizzi is convinced that LEED makes a difference.

Text by Martin Suter, journalist based in New York

A cheery workplace: the USGBC head office in Washington, D.C.

Twenty years ago, when Rick Fedrizzi joined forces with two like-minded pioneers and created the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), he could not have predicted the phenomenal success of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) process. Ahead of all others, LEED certifications have been achieved or are sought by 189,000 projects in 150 countries, says the USGBC’s CEO.

According to Fedrizzi, it is crucial that LEED works as a voluntary process that makes business feel welcome. The classification of projects as Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum is intended to “make LEED something people want to do.”

LEED began with certification of buildings, but soon included interiors. Now the trend is shifting from looking at design to evaluating performance, Fedrizzi explains. Increasingly, LEED focuses on how much energy and water a building uses in the long term and how sustainably healthy its environment is for the people in it.

“I care deeply about children at schools,” says Fedrizzi. “In the last two years, our green schools agenda has been adopted by 35 countries. This is what I am most excited about.”
International corporations can be very effective ambassadors for LEED, Fedrizzi believes. “To me, the fact that large organizations such as Siemens have found a solid business strategy in this whole new world of sustainability is proof that it will never turn around.”

Rick Fedrizzi – Short bio

  • Education: Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Le Moyne College; MBA from Martin J. Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University
  • Served as executive with United Technologies’ Carrier Corporation for 25 years
  • Co-founded the USGBC in 1993
  • President and CEO of the USGBC since 2004
  • Board/advisory committee member of Green Building Certification Institute; Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard School of Public Health; American Architectural Foundation; Delos; Watsco; World Green Building Council
  • Married, two children

Other Rating Systems

LEED was inspired by the BREEAM rating system. Developed in the UK in 1988, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology is the world’s longest-established method of certifying the sustainability of buildings. It rates buildings in five categories from Pass to Outstanding. In China, the Green Building Evaluation Standard uses one to three stars. And then there are local rating systems such as the Pearl Building Rating System (PBRS) in Abu Dhabi, which aims at water, energy, and waste minimization; local material use; and improving supply chains for sustainable and recycled materials and products. There are additional systems in use in other countries. LEED tries to support them as much as possible because, as Rick Fedrizzi says, “market transformation is the real goal, and we need everyone at the table to accomplish it.”

Case study

The World’s First Net-Zero Energy Stadium

For Brazil’s National Stadium, the green of the grass was not enough green. Design choices and sophisticated control technology developed by Siemens helped to transform the new Estádio Nacional de Brasília Mané Garrincha into the most energy-efficient sports arena of the continent. In fact, the elegant venue in the capital city of Brasília is registered to be the world’s first LEED Platinum stadium.

Green credits, as well as light, are collected by a ring of photovoltaic cells on the roof. The solar panels provide the power the stadium needs. When the arena is not in use, surplus electricity is fed into the grid. Other areas of the roof are covered by a photocatalytic membrane that captures and chemically breaks down air pollution particles.

Opened in May of 2013, the building harvests rainwater, and it uses LED lighting. Its breathable façade provides comfort for 72,000 spectators while cutting down on air-conditioning costs. All water and energy systems are controlled by the most advanced Siemens building automation software, which also integrates a comprehensive security system. On the advice of the consulting firm Cadmus Group, all materials from the original Garrincha stadium were reused in the new construction or recycled. Says Cadmus CEO Ian Kline: “The stadium is a shining example of how LEED can be applied and is feasible for all building projects, regardless of size or complexity.”

Case study

A Hot Concept for a Cool Building

A pyramid was out of the question, so were tents. The developers and architects of Siemens’ new Middle East headquarters in Masdar City had to come up with new ideas for how to design an office building with minimal energy consumption in the hot desert climate of Abu Dhabi. In addition, the company stipulated that construction should not be more expensive than that of the average Siemens building.

Opened in January 2014, the building managed to meet all requirements and be certified LEED Platinum as well as four Pearls under the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council’s local rating system.
Two major features make this possible: The panels of the ingeniously structured façade prevent the building from heating up, but bring in enough daylight to make artificial lighting unnecessary during most of the day. Also, the building is oriented and designed to make use of steady coastal winds, which blow through open spaces and corridors, thereby cooling the interiors without massive air-conditioning.

All lighting and cooling needs are controlled using Siemens’ state-of-the-art building automation technologies. Building materials were chosen for energy efficiency and comfort. Some 800 Siemens employees will profit from the thoughtful – and LEED-certified – design.

Africa’s Rail Renaissance Full Steam Ahead

Railways in Africa

Since gaining independence, most African governments have focused on developing roads and let railways deteriorate. Having realized the tremendous economic potential of rail transport, the continent has experienced a renaissance. Algeria is a prime example.

Text by Janine Stephen, journalist based in South Africa

With improved infrastructure and services, rail travel is a viable alternative to congested roads.

When it came to rail traffic, for quite a while, Africa was ahead of the game. The first railway tracks were laid in Egypt in 1852, and crept rapidly over the continent. By the 1920s, most of Africa’s main lines had been completed. Trains opened up tremendous economic potential, stimulating trade and easing the transport of natural resources.

But when numerous African nations gained independence in the 1960s, investment in rail ceased, despite the fact that it was profitable. Many lines collapsed when post-independence governments branded railways as “colonial technology” and instead invested in roads, which were seen as “modern”.

“This has negatively affected the overall performance of the transportation sector of most economies in Africa, which in turn slowed down economic growth,” says Ronald Phiri, managing director of the Tanzania-Zambia railway authority Tazara. Soon, African railway infrastructure dropped far behind. “The current modal share is that 90 per cent of traffic is moved by road and only 10 percent by rail. This is unsustainable,” says Lovemore Bingandadi, Transport and Corridors Program Manager for the Southern African Development Community’s Secretariat for Infrastructure and Services.

New Projects, from Cape to Cairo

Across the continent, investment in Africa’s railways can boost economic growth and cohesion.

In recent years, African governments have acknowledged that revitalizing the network is a prerequisite for economic growth and integration. Ambitious projects either at design stage or being built include a Trans-Kalahari line between Botswana and Namibia, the rehabilitation of the Benguela line in Angola, and recapitalization of the national railway company of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The ultimate goal is to create transport networks that allow freight to move freely across the continent, connecting economies.

One country where new investments in rail have already started to take off is Algeria. A €14.5 billion investment in both mainline and mass transit lines was announced as part of an enormous infrastructure program for 2010-2014. Big mainline projects underway include new mixed traffic lines from Mecheria to El Bayadh and Djelfa to Laghouat. A line from Senia to the port of Arzew is near completion, and a Tissemsilt-Boughezoul-M’Sila line is progressing slowly. All this is just a start. The state’s investment plan allows for thousands of kilometers of upgraded track and new lines in the future.

Capital Algiers’ subway metro system, the first in North Africa, opened in 2011. When three planned extensions are complete, it will transport up to 300,000 passengers a day and relieve traffic congestion.

Fast Track to the Future

Trains entering Johannesburg, the capital of South Africa’s economic heart, Gauteng province.

Despite challenges and hurdles, African countries that are already re-investing in rail will have a head start in 2040, when growth in economic outputs, trade flows, and population is expected to result in up to seven-fold growth in freight and passenger rail transport, according to a joint study by the African Union, the African Development Bank, and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

Hacks and the City

Watch Dogs

A new console and PC game lets players interact with and manipulate the city infrastructure of a futuristic Chicago. It’s just a game – but is reality catching up? urbanDNA spoke to Danny Belanger, Lead Game Designer for Watch Dogs at Ubisoft.

Interview by Christopher Findlay, journalist based in Zurich/Switzerland

Danny Belanger, Lead Game Designer for Watch Dogs at Ubisoft.

urbanDNA: Where did the idea of using the “city as a weapon” originate?

Danny Belanger: The core inspiration was connectivity. We wanted the player to be able to connect with the world and with others in a very efficient way. Every time we added something to the city, we wanted to interact with it and create gameplay with it. There are about 100 interactions the player can engage in with the infrastructure, ranging from trains, the electric system, to traffic control.

The main character can control traffic management systems, communications infrastructure, power supply, and transportation systems. Can you name some more examples of what options players will have?

Players will be able to manipulate communications systems including the phones of civilians; heating systems; the player can manipulate surveillance cameras and use them to infiltrate a sector. The main character breaks into WiFi systems. The police chopper can be hacked. There’s just so many elements that can be manipulated… the challenge for us as designers was not to make it too easy for the player.

In general, how do you personally view the types of infrastructure and technologies that are exploited in the game? Are they inherently threatening?

I definitely think technology has both light and darkness. It’s in the way we use it and what we are ready to accept, as people. Lately, people are more and more willing to be public through social media, many of the WiFi systems in our homes are linked to cameras... all of those are, in a way, vulnerabilities, but they are also ways to reach out socially. We wanted to highlight a “what-if” situation: What if you’re the type of person who has a very active public image and you’re leaving a lot of digital data out there, and this character can use that data? It’s definitely a concern.

Players interact with and manipulate the city infrastructure.

So would you say there’s a tradeoff between the benefits and risks of fully integrated systems?

For our game design, we studied the concept of centralized infrastructures. Certainly there are huge benefits to being able to coordinate within those systems in a very smart way. We’ve pushed that concept very far with the premise that a single individual can manipulate all of that. The point is that if someone can hack those... well, you want to be sure that they’re really safe.

It’s one thing to hack someone’s phone, and another thing to hack the whole traffic system of a city. Our goal in designing Watch Dogs was to make the best possible game using these tools, not to pass moral judgment on the infrastructure systems that are coming, inevitably. But obviously, there is collateral risk associated with these systems, and that’s something to think about and be careful about.

Watch Dogs is a set in a futuristic version of Chicago.

Was there any specific reason why you chose Chicago as the setting for the game?

At first, it offered a lot of great features for Watch Dogs: A fantastic, rich architecture that is a mix of modern and older styles; the Chicago River passing through the city center, spanned by bridges; other great infrastructure elements such as the “L” rapid transit system – all of these aspects are very good for building rich gameplay. Chicago also has the most advanced surveillance system in the US. And also, it’s just a nice canvas for storytelling because it has a rich history.

Would it be fair to say that cities are especially attractive settings for game designers because they offer so many opportunities for manipulation?

For us, that was definitely the case. It’s the world we live in today. As a player, it’s easy to feel connected to a story that is happening now in modern cities, because it feels like our own lives and is very relevant to our own environment. That’s one of the strengths of Watch Dogs: All the scenes, the tone, the text… it all feels very relevant. We were a bit afraid at first that we were going too far, but it appears that reality is catching up with us very quickly. Nevertheless, although our story is set in the near future, it’s not a dystopian world; we wanted it to feel like our lives might be in a few years’ time, when centralized infrastructure is put in place. It has to feel like it can happen to all of us just a few years from now.

You live in Montreal. Has the game changed your own outlook as you move around the city?

Oh, definitely! I see a lot more things now. I’m much more aware of making information public and have second thoughts; I notice how many cameras there are that are connected to WiFi systems, which I find quite troubling. How hard is it to gain access to those cameras? I really don’t know.


The Thameslink Programme - Regeneration Beyond Rail Improvements


London Bridge Station is one of Europe’s busiest, serving over 54 million people each year. At the end of March 2014, the first phase of Britain’s largest-ever station redevelopment was concluded when two new platforms were brought into use and two more began redevelopment.

Text by Ed Targett, journalist based in London

Crosstown traffic: urbanDNA correspondent Ed Targett sets out to explore the north-south link across London.
Crossing the Thames: a quick glance at the day’s headlines during layover at London Blackfriars station.
Main artery: The new trains will carry passengers from Brighton in the south to as far as Cambridge, 80 kilometers north of London’s central stations.
The first of 1,140 new Class 700 train vehicles built by Siemens for Thameslink will begin operating in early 2016.

Just over three kilometers northwest, work is underway at Farringdon Station, which will connect the Thameslink and Crossrail lines and open up access to St Pancras International, along with direct links to the major international airports of Gatwick, Heathrow, and Luton. At London Blackfriars station, meanwhile, a new south bank entrance carries commuters to the Tate Modern or Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Just over three kilometers northwest, work is underway at Farringdon Station, which will connect the Thameslink and Crossrail lines and open up access to St Pancras International, along with direct links to the major international airports of Gatwick, Heathrow, and Luton. At London Blackfriars station, meanwhile, a new south bank entrance carries commuters to the Tate Modern or Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

North-South Axis

The stations are just three at the center of the £6.5 billion (€7.9 billion) Thameslink Programme, an ambitious raft of improvements to Thameslink; a train route that links north and south London, as well as onwards further south to Brighton and further north to Cambridge.

The overhaul will (along with extensive station upgrades) see new rolling stock and destinations added to this busy stretch of railway. Siemens will be delivering 1,140 cutting-edge train vehicles for Thameslink. But the impact of the Thameslink Programme goes further than just improvements to transport infrastructure. The boost in connectivity to the rest of the capital is bringing improvements to communities.

Economic Effects

Brent Cross, 16 kilometers north of London Bridge, is not currently served by Thameslink, and its two nearest London Underground stations have been described by the borough’s own council as “feeling very remote and lacking adequate pedestrian links and signage.” A planned new Thameslink station will boost business in the area. Back at London Bridge, meanwhile, elimination of bottlenecks will enable the new trains to run every two to three minutes at peak times by 2018. In the station itself, a new concourse and new connections will ensure improved links to join the two communities to the north and south of the station and help boost economic regeneration in the area.

Upon completion in 2017, Farringdon will handle over 140 trains every hour. Along with connections to four of London's major airports and two international rail stations, the renovated station will link north/south Thameslink trains with Crossrail's east/west services, vastly improving travel across London. All of the new trains will be maintained at two new depots at Hornsey in north London and Three Bridges near Crawley in West Sussex. The simultaneous construction of these depots, funded by Siemens Financial Services, will hopefully create up to 2,000 jobs across the UK in component manufacturing and assembly and the construction of the new depots.

A Major Win

The Thameslink Programme was a major win for Siemens that came after a tensely competitive bid, and the project is a significant one amid an urban infrastructure financing environment that was dramatically disrupted by the global financial crisis. Siemens underwrote key risks by providing equity for the rolling stock and funding construction of the depots on its own balance sheet. Siemens Financial Services helped structure the overall debt package, including acting as arranger of the depot financing. It was a comprehensive package that was a dealmaker.

To finance the project, a private finance initiative/public private partnership (PFI/PPP) arrangement for lease of the rolling stock and the two depots was put in place. These leases, together with the 20-year maintenance contract, are worth £2.6 billion (€3.1 billion). Basil Wetters, head of SFS’ project finance equity team, told urbanDNA: “Thameslink was a very successful PPP concession. The financial firepower that we were able to deploy, particularly with regard to developing the depots, was very influential indeed in being able to win the bid.”


Hallmarks of Investor-Ready Cities

  • The rule of law is recognized and respected
  • Property rights are transparent, transferable, and enforceable
  • Appropriate legislation will be stable for duration of the investment
  • Clear commitments to internationally recognized anticorruption standards
  • On exiting an investment, investors are legally entitled to recover returns due

Find an in-depth report on “Investor Ready Cities” at