ICT, open source, big data, IoT and collaboration will be the talking points of the smart cities of the future
Cities are the drivers of global economic growth, responsible for generating more than 80 per cent of worldwide GDP. But they also consume more than two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for around 75 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. To make matters worse, extreme climatic events, such as floods, droughts, heat waves, storms and hurricanes, have a huge and costly impact on city infrastructure, housing and public health.
In this context, cities need to become far more sustainable, smart and resilient if they are to match the pace of climate change and technological development. The term “sustainable city” has surfaced as a result of rapid urbanisation, the diffusion of sustainability and the rise of information and communications technology (ICT). In the transition towards sustainable development, ICT will play a big role – and one of the most common applications of ICT in urban environments is the internet of things (IoT) and related big data applications.
In the September edition of this report, FIWARE community members Red Hat and the Future City Foundation enlightened us with practical examples of how they are, with their IoT-centred solutions, guiding the cities of Amersfoort (Netherlands), Barcelona (Spain), Gothenburg (Sweden) and Montevideo (Uruguay) to further embrace the smart city concept, based on FIWARE technology. This time around, we’ll bring you a perspective from Greece and Spain to better exemplify how cities can boost growth, deliver more efficient services and create more livable environments where both citizens and businesses can thrive, with the help of the growing FIWARE community.
Moving towards cities that live and breathe the urban model
Traditional city models have failed. Short-term and on-the-fly approaches to urban development result in chaotic environments and frustrated citizens, and are clearly not the definition of a sustainable city
By Spiros Mazarakis, Business Development Executive, Uni Systems, Greece
In an era filled with smart devices and digitally literate citizens, the future is unveiled through new patterns of communication and living, as people increasingly require faster, more advanced services and open access to information. Municipalities should adjust their operations and work hard to implement solutions that will allow their continuous growth in an efficient and cost-effective manner, toward a sustainable future. The transformation of cities into smart ecosystems should be the top priority for municipalities.
Focusing on the operational features of cities, digital back-office systems are becoming of utmost importance. After all, no matter how innovative and well designed the solutions are, if the necessary structure is not in place, there will be fundamental issues when executing them.
How are smart cities efficiently using available resources?
Based on its Local Government Information Management Systems and FIWARE’s open source framework, Uni Systems has created a number of solutions under one intelligent and integrated platform, the City2Live Urban Platform, actively contributing to the creation of the cities of the future.
City2Live offers customizable solutions for all available resources needed for the operation of Smart Cities: Eco, Mobility, Water, Fleet, Parking and Waste let smart cities monitor all of the vital aspects that differentiate them from the traditional, monolithic models of the past. By capitalising on the recently established Pleiades IoT Innovation Cluster, as well as its strategic partnership with FIWARE, the City2Live Urban Platform can empower data collection and the management and operations of smart city ecosystems, enabling municipalities to manage their flow of operations in all fundamental areas.
With both existing tools and newly developed interfaces, municipalities can create network connections among digital applications, gather valuable large-scale data, and allow the real-time monitoring of smart city operations. The value of the collected and analysed data will be immense for municipalities that are ready to take on the challenge and improve their decision-making processes toward a more efficient and cost-effective assignment of resources, with the ultimate goal of strengthening the operation and the administration of their ecosystem.
For more information on how Uni Systems is helping municipalities to deliver their digital vision, offer better and higher quality services, and accommodate its citizens, click here.
Málaga: delivering sustainable environments for business growth and citizen wellbeing
By Francisco Salas, Managing Director, Promálaga, Spain
When you arrive in Málaga you are captivated by its stunning coastline, the surrounding mountains and the friendliness of the locals. But something else stands out too. Despite being one of Europe’s oldest cities, the Málaga of today exudes modernity and digital innovation, and has, in recent years, moved away from simply being the gateway to the Costa del Sol.
Revamped and revitalised, Málaga is home to the Andalusia Technology Park (PTA), which includes more than 650 companies and 20,000 employees, developing solutions for energy efficiency, urban services, communications and tourism. It is no wonder the city has been awarded the title of 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism, alongside Gothenburg.
These achievements did not happen overnight. They are the result of the city’s ambitious, smart and innovative vision, whose overall strategy is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Málaga’s forward-looking approach was spearheaded by the 2009 Málaga Smart City project and expanded by the city’s Innovation Strategic Plan 2018-2022, which encourages the creation of solutions on citizen participation, e-government and open data projects, focused on turning it into a more innovative, inclusive, technological and smart city.
A “Powered by FIWARE” city
Committed to providing useful data sets to its citizens, Málaga has initiated its own open data environment, which generates information sources, specifically data, which are open to the public and, above all, can be downloaded by any company, professional individual or citizen, and used for any purpose. As a FIWARE user, the city encourages solution providers to develop applications – in an easy and replicable manner – on top of the FIWARE platform, integrate city data into it, and hence, boost the local economy.
Similarly, with CityGO, a “Powered by FIWARE” transportation planner and intelligent mobility solution developed by Atos (a FIWARE Platinum member), locals and visitors can find the best route and means of transport from A to Z, based on real-time information. From inputs on trains, buses, and the nearest public bike rental station, to available parking spaces, everything is managed in real time. For instance, the solution’s dashboard monitors the flow of citizens within the city and supports Málaga’s decision-makers in making educated decisions about its transport planning.
The city also houses FIWARE Zone – one of FIWARE’s global iHubs – which provides training sessions, mentorship, and webinars on smart digital solutions for the local SME and start-up scene, as well as facilitating start-ups to connect with research institutions, accelerators, and private and public companies.
Find out more about what is transforming Málaga into a city of the future.