SMART CITY: WHERE TO START?

Chances are that someone in your city has already begun to explore the transition to a ‘Smart City’. It is quite likely someone has put a Living Lab in place, has installed a sensor network or even a LoRaWan (a wireless network for Internet of Things).

It may also be the case that your city has not progressed as far as you would like. Perhaps you are thinking: “Is this it? Is our Smart City a mix of numerous disconnected experiments? That cannot be what a ‘smart city’ amounts to…” You want more for your city. You want a faster development. You want significant progress to be experienced by more people. Because your city deserves better. Now where do you start?

A SMART CITY STARTERK!T

Transitions to a Smart City can take place in more ways than one. In Toronto a daughter of Alphabet (the company that owns Google) is converting an entire district to a ‘smart district’. In China completely new smart cities arise from scratch. Elsewhere such an approach cannot be funded or the leadership required for making so much speed is not in place.

Switch is a community platform for transitions. Switch started with the transition from traditional street lighting to smart public lighting. In a broader sense, Switch is also intended to support the transition from a ‘normal’ city to a Smart City enabled with Internet of Things (IoT).

The experience consolidated in Eindhoven over the past five years with the transition to a Smart City has been bundled into a Smart City StarterK!t. This package is being shared on Switch, without claiming that it is the overall solution for cities engaged in this transition. The purpose of sharing, is to come to a joint development of a Smart City Platform.

SMART CITY STARTERK!T

Smart City StarterK!t 1.0

Do you want to download the non-technological part of our Smart City StarterK!t 1.0?

Technological implementation

Do you want to realize a technological implementation? Contact Atos Nederland.

In this Smart City StarterK!t, abbreviated as ‘StarterK!t’, you will find two types of tools that can you help you accelerate on your road to a Smart City.

1 Policy instruments
This StarterK!t contains a number of policy instruments, such as the Open Data Principles and the IoT Charter of the Municipality of Eindhoven. These are basic agreements parties within a city can agree upon in order to have a shared answer to the question ‘How will we engage with this transition to a Smart City?’

2 Technology
The StarterK!t also contains a translation of these basic agreements to technology. In Eindhoven’s largest clubbing area, Stratumseind, Living Lab Stratumseind 2.0 has conducted 5 years of research creating unique prototypes for improved safety & security:

  • Sensors that reduce the physical effort of enforcing local laws and regulations.
  • Video cameras used to count the density of crowds, in order to distribute people more evenly across the city during popular events.
  • Software that aims to analyze early signs of violent occurrences, aiming to direct police assistance faster.

The software that was developed for these applications, was converted in 2017 to FIWARE: an open source standard (developed with funding from the European Commission) to integrate Smart City implementations into a common architecture and approach.

The advantages of FIWARE are: it’s open source (therefore it does not belong to a single company: this means you can avoid a ‘vendor lock-in’), there is already a library available of software solutions (of which quite a number is available for free) and ongoing development takes place with a shared reference architecture in mind (ultimately leading to a convergence of the created solutions). Keep in mind that FIWARE does also have some downsides.

NOW AVAILABLE FOR FREE
Who is the StarterK!t intended for? Municipalities and other local governments will find it useful, as well as companies, knowledge institutes and students aiming to contribute to Smart City transitions.

FASTER TOGETHER
There are six initiatives in Eindhoven for which partners are more than welcome to join.

1 Developing together
The hope is that other cities will benefit from using our StarterK!t. It has the potential to function as a foundation, metaphorically similar to the green base plate of LEGO. Cities that use it can save substantial amounts on their development cost. Municipalities can avoid vendor lock-in. The transition to becoming a Smart City can be accelerated.

Are you interested in developing more together? Contact ceesjan@venturespring.biz. For the project collaboration Smart Society Innovation In Small Steps he is the main contact person.

2 Living Labs indoor & outdoor
Eindhoven has Living Labs that learn how to make outdoor environments smarter, like in the clubbing area Stratumseind and the entire district of Strijp-S. What is also being explored, is combining research projects into a Living Lab focused on making the inside of buildings smarter. What can be realized with sensors in buildings owned by the municipality? Can such a Living Lab run on the same software as the Living Labs focused on outdoor environments? What can be automated? What should be done with the data?

Contact ceesjan@venturespring.biz when you want to join this development. Within the project cooperation Smart Society Innovation In Small Steps he is working with the municipality of Eindhoven on an indoor Living Lab from the real estate angle.

3 Explore together
JLegally it appears that it is not yet fully clear what ‘data’ is. Another area that is unclear, is how Artificial Intelligence should appear in downtown areas if it were to really make life better for people. The events around Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have shown that uncritically relying on technology from Silicon Valley may not be how Europe will be able to create the Smart Society it seeks. At several moments in the course of 2018, Eindhoven would like to engage with other cities to explore the answers to these questions. A meeting will take place at the offices of the State Advocate Pels Rijcken on May15th.

If you want to find out when you can join us to explore these or other aspects related to Smart Cities, contact ceesjan@venturespring.biz. With the partners he’s coordinating the events.

4 Place Digital Crime
Legally speaking, there are quite a few unknowns in the transition to Smart City. To a simple question like ‘What is data?’ apparently a legally clear answer is not yet possible. What happens when sensor networks start creating information that is pertinent to a crime? What happens when a crime scene, next to simply existing physically, also becomes digital? Will that information be admissible? Will it be legally binding? To find answers to questions like that, the legal department of the Municipality of Eindhoven is working with the State Advocate Pels Rijcken.

Are you interested in questions like these, contact b.pelgrum@eindhoven.nl working for the municipality of Eindhoven. Bas Pelrgum, next to Ran Haase, is one of the prime civil servants shaping the legal thinking about Smart Cities.

5 Reference architectures
When a city has numerous Living Labs, how can making efficient investments be assured? It helps to aim for investments having a synergetic effect. To achieve that, working with a single reference architecture in mind, makes sense. A reference architecture is a single conceptual scheme of how a Smart City software-wise should be put together. Working with several cities on such a reference architecture, would even offer each participating city the opportunity to benefit from each other’s investments.

Are you aiming to save costs? Does your organization have the technological competence to contribute to a collaboration around a reference architecture? Contact r.schager@eindhoven.nl for an introduction. Rick Schager is the Smart City architect of the Municipality of Eindhoven.

6 Smart society versus smart city
The transition to a Smart City, in the vision of the Municipality of Eindhoven, is merely a phase. That transition is mainly driven by more or less autonomous technology development, notably from Silicon Valley.

The Municipality of Eindhoven considers the quality of life of people in the city to be of foremost importance. That is what technology should serve. Improving people’s lives is the effect Smart City developments should have. Eindhoven therefore places Smart Society at an even higher ambition level than Smart City. The search for using Smart City technologies to realize a Smart Society is continuously ongoing.

Do you agree that there is a higher ambition level than Smart City? Are you also eager to contribute to realizing a Smart Society? Contact ceesjan@venturespring.biz. He is the project leader of Smart Society Innovation In Small Steps.

Are you interested in one of the initiatives above? You can contact CeesJan Mol (Venturespring) on weekdays after 16:00 at +31 6 473 642 56.

INITIATIVE

PROUDLY POWERED BY

CONTACTPERSONS

CeesJan Mol

Rick Schager

Bas Pelgrum

PARTNERS

Gemeente Eindhoven
Park Strijpbeheer
Fontys
TU/e
NXP Semiconductors
Bureau Moeilijke Dingen
O. Khan Consulting