Real-time information from environmental monitors and sensors could soon inform rangers of the conditions of footpaths and monitor the effects of climate change. Bins could send alerts when they are full to reduce unnecessary emissions due to bin collections. Your phone could sense when you tire during a walk, notifying you of the nearest pub for a rest stop. It could even send you the menu, or make a reservation on your behalf.
These are all examples of smart technologies in use across the world that are quickly changing the face of cities and open spaces, shaping new types of experiences. Now, experts suggest innovation and the ‘Internet of Things’ could be the key to better protecting the world’s National Park landscape while reducing costs and enhancing visitors’ experience.
Professor Edward Truch, a Director of the Connected Communities Research Lab at Lancaster University Management School, is the lead author of the Smart Parks.
Bringing smart technologies to National Parks report, commissioned by the Lake District National Park Authority.