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Description

Urban data platforms build the basis for a multitude of applications in a Smart City. An urban data platform intends to collate, map, store and integrate data from different stakeholders of the Smart City ecosystem (e.g. public entities, businesses, citizens or other organisations). The data can be offered to other service providers, can be analysed or visualised, and published. Such an urban data platform can be the basis for a lot of smart city solutions as it offers a stable and flexible base for data-driven solutions. An urban data platform can constitute a holistic system, connecting various services around a city by bringing all data together. A multisided-market approach can support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as data is available without any high initial investments. The main concern when it comes to urban data platforms is security, privacy and transparency, which places special focus on the responsibility and the reliability of the operator of the platform.

Benefits

The main goal of an Urban Data Platform is to improve urban services by increasing the understanding of needs and demands with the use of data about the city and its citizens. Besides that, the solution achieves the benefits listed below. Whereas some benefits are likely to be fulfilled with a basic implementation of the solution, the fulfillment of the potential benefits depends on the additional functions implemented in a specific project.

Main Benefits
  • Improved data accessibility

  • Increased data transparency

  • Facilitating citizen engagement

  • Encouraging digital entrepreneurship

Potential Benefits
  • Enabling new business opportunities

  • Improving education

  • Enhanced data collection

  • Faster data transfer

  • Encouraging digital entrepreneurship

  • Facilitating citizen engagement

  • Improved data accessibility

  • Enhanced data security

Functions

Functions help you to understand what the products can do for you and which ones will help you achieve your goals.
Each Solution has at least one mandatory function, which is needed to achieve the basic purpose of the Solution, and several additional functions, which are features that can be added to provide additional benefits.

Mandatory Functions
    storing data

    Products that allow the operator of the platform to store data, for example, a cloud

    enriching and refining data

    Products that increase the quality and processibility of the data collected

    collecting data

    Products collecting, uploading, and/or compiling various datasets

    mediating access to data

    products enabling different type of access for a variety of users through the authentication of users

Potential Functions
    visualising data

    Products that visualise the datasets appropriate for various user groups

    providing processing capabilities

    Products offering necessary capabilities to process the data

    supporting data transactions

    Products that enable and ease the transaction of data

    analysing data

    Products analysing the compiled data

    creating data sharing agreements

    products linking information sharing partners to create sharing agreements

Products offering these functions

ManageNow® for Data Analytics

ManageNow® for Data Analytics is based on open source. It offers the ideal approach for public sector clients to design data-based solutions independently with no vendor lock-in. It consequently allows you to make informed decisions based on your business.

City data platform and community app

The tool for cities and communities allows to monitor, analyze and predict data and processes to connect city administration with citizens.

Variants

Description

Open Data Portals have been - in many cases – the first step cities have taken towards organising and making data available. Their goal is to incentivise data services innovation and increase transparency. These portals provide access to government data (often in machine readable formats) to everybody and they are created by local governments. The data is not usually listed or compared against policy or performance targets (Barns, 2018).

Supporting City Context
  • Strict but clear information on privacy regulations is available.
  • Increasing number of (real time) data sets available in the city.
  • Political support to open data.
  • Data sources are developed parallel to the portal.
  • A total number and brief explanation of all available data sets in the municipality has been published on the platform (not only those available openly).
Use Cases

Eindhoven Open Data Portal

The open data portal of the City of Eindhoven was built with the goal of making data more accessible and useful. It helps to upload, share, use, analyse and visualize public data sets. The platform is highly user friendly and has very low barrier to use.

Open Source Database

The use of database is essential in all modern project management. The essential question is hence whether the data collecting and processing changes in the implementation process are open source or the solution is vendor locked. Smarter Together Vienna chose an open source solution based on FIWARE.

Open platform for multimodal mobility information and services

This Use Case is to develop an integrated Open Data mobility platform, gathering and providing information from all transport modes, prioritizing the more sustainable ones.

Integrated ticketing and information system for smart mobility

The city of Turku created a new open data interface and platform into which the ticketing system of the public transport system is incorporated.

Description

With the aim of promoting data services innovation, data marketplaces promote and encourages data access and reuse by external parties (including sales). They provide access to data in machine readable formats, and are usually created by local governments and/or the private sector. Compared to the other variants, the data is made available after paying a price or in exchange of other data (Barns, 2018).

Supporting City Context
  • Significant existing capability which can inform the design of the platform and provide valuable skills, experience, blueprints and resources which can be shared with other cities.
  • Provide a shared reference architecture.
  • Enable sharing by providing an interoperable digital platform based on open standards.
  • Utilise Enterprise Architecture and API economy best practices to align city needs with services and technology.
  • Provide a federated governance structure to ensure alignment between the cities.
Use Cases

Sharing Cities Urban Sharing Platform (USP)

The Sharing Cities Urban Sharing Platform is a logical collection of technical components, capabilities and processes which provide functions and services that enable a Smart City.

Barcelona´s big data integration solution

Barcelona´s big data integration solution aims at developing a semantic model that reflects and connects three domains of interest: mobility, energy, and integrated infrastructures. 

Smart City Data Platform

To support with real time data integration in Smart Cities, a Smart City Data platform has been developed which enables faster integration of data. The data and governance layer have been separated to provide ownership to the data owners.

Description

City Dashboards serve as data showcase allowing governments to increase data visibility and transparency. They can also monitor the performance of the city against already set targets by the municipality. In addition, they promote access to data visualisations aligned to urban policy priorities and they, oftentimes, are created by city governments or through partnerships with educational institutions. The underlying data used to create the dashboards is not always available or machine-readable (Barns, 2018).

Use Cases

Big Data Visualization for Cologne

A Big Data Management Application, called Urban Cockpit has been implemented in the city of Cologne to provide a fast and easy overview of the data stored in the Urban Data Platform. It includes data from traffic management systems , energy providers and other such companies.

Citizen Platform for Urban Air Quality

Breeze Technologies is creating a citizen-driven air quality sensing network in the district Rothenburgsort in Hamburg, Germany.

City Context

The following aspects contribute to the implementation of an Urban Data Platform:

  • Access to relevant data from various sources or existence of data collected
  • Innovation environment in the city promoting the development of skills and interest to work with data
  • Presence of collaboration between institutions facilitating the data access and exchange

Operating Models

Ownership and management

As presented by (Sheombar et al., 2020) Urban Data Platforms can be owned and managed by the same or different type of actors. Platform Owners “have legal control over the technology and intellectual property”, a role that could be played by governments, public-private partnerships, private actors, or citizens. Platform Managers maintain, run, and develop the platform within the guidelines provided by the Platform Owners, and it could be done by governments, private actors or public-private partnerships.

Possible combinations of platform ownership and management. Source: Sheombar et. al., 2020.

According to a survey conducted in 2019 with about 85 European cities, showed that more than 60% of Urban Data Platforms are both owned and managed by the public sector, and only a fraction has a public-private ownership (18%) or management (17%). Privately owned platforms account for 10% of the surveyed cities and privately managed for 15% (Sheombar et al., 2020).

Furthermore, a growing number of municipalities are experimenting with new governance arrangements that give to the citizens a more central role in making decisions about their data (see data commons models, data trusts, and data stewardships). As these initiatives grow in number, they will have a substantial impact on how urban data platforms are designed and governed.

Funding

Potential options include:

  • Municipal financing from capital or operational budget,
  • Public grants or competition funds,
  • Industry Research Development and Innovation,
  • Industry Public-Private Partnership,
  • Market funds (loans, equality, concession)
  • Crowdfunding

Following the results of the aforementioned survey, 38% of the cities have financed their platforms with capital budget from the municipality, 22% with operational budget, and 23% with public grants or competition funds. In total, 83% of the platforms have been financed by public money, which also aligns with the current understanding that Urban Data Platforms are core critical infrastructure and their business case aligns with other urban infrastructure (Sheombar et al., 2020).

Cost Structure

Required resources to design and operate an Urban Data Platform (BABLE, 2021)

Business Model

Under the project RUGGEDISED, four business models have been identified in the market of Urban Data Platforms, which include:

  1. Data for sale: data collected by any urban stakeholders can be exchanged and sold via the UDP. Intermediaries may play an important role here, especially if data is collected directly by the citizens.
  2. Data collection and aggregation as a service: data is collected from a variety of sources to be published as open data. In order for this data to be re-usable, additional services may be needed, like cleaning, filtering, processing, and aggregation. This service may be provided to an UDP manager or similar who may be interested in accessing good quality data from diverse sources, supporting a better understanding of the issue in question.
  3. Data analytics and use as a service: analysing data based on the demands of a client for a price or co-creating data-driven solutions and improving them in an open-source manner. The type of business models may entail Business to Business (B2B), Business to Cities/Clients (B2C), and Peer-to-Peer (P2P).
  4. Multi-source data mash-up and analysis: this model aggregates all others into one, where data is collected, aggregated and analysed.


Typology of Business Models on the UDP Source: Sheombar et. al., 2020.
 

Revenue Model

Urban Data Platforms may offer access to data for a price, especially the “Marketplace” variants. In those cases, there are pricing catalogues and/or mechanisms to mediate the buying and selling of data or data access on the platform.

In addition, more advanced versions may be able to offer a portfolio of advanced platform tools such as training, catalogues, collaboration, etc. (Sheombar et. al., 2020).

Furthermore, since most cities pay for the maintenance and operations costs of the platforms and these support the development of other services, the costs could be calculated in the services fee.

 

Market Potential

“The EU open data market is a key building block of the overall EU data economy. According to a study conducted for the creation of the PSI Directive, the total direct economic value of public sector information is expected to increase from a baseline of €52 billion in 2018 for the EU27 + UK, to €194 billion in 2030” (European Commission, 2021).

The value of the data economy of EU27 was almost €325 billion in 2019, representing 2.6 % of GDP. The same estimate predicts that it will increase to over €550 billion by 2025, representing 4 % of the overall EU GDP (European Commission, 2020).

Examples of industrial and commerical data use and its economic benefits (European Commission, 2019)

 

Stakeholder Mapping

Stakeholders relations in an Urban Data Platform (BABLE, 2021)

Government Initiatives

  • There is substantial funding coming the EU, especially in the Horizon2020 funding scheme, that support the implementation and exploitation of data platforms and ecosystems. Besides that, the EU has an Open Data Portal, which serves as the European gateway to open data resources. The European Open Data Portal shares, among many other things, the most viewed data sets. For further information have a look at the portal.
  • National Governments across Europe are increasingly investing in programmes that put data at the centre of the strategies and development. They include developing capacities to work with data, cooperating with important actors from the ecosystem, and setting up the right infrastructure to do it.
  • Local governments are also progressively dedicating more human and monetary resources to set up data platforms and to build capacity and increase interest in their local ecosystems.

Supporting Factors

  • A definition of specific use cases decrease complexity and simplify citizen engagement
  • Professional and content-related discussion enhance the development of data sharing agreements. People want to understand what value they receive in return for sharing their data
  • A collaborative approach with several municipal departments can facilitate access to data hold by other entities
  • Public tenders may include requirements for partnering entities to share their project data, giving the city the right to publish it (sometimes it may only be shared privately) (Smarter Together, 2019)
  • A strong and transparent governance model with clear roles and responsibilities guaranteeing data quality and maintenance.
  • Transparency/Ethical guidelines regarding how data is handled and used (especially if there’s citizens’ data involved)
  • Policies and regulations facilitating and easing the exchange of data

Regulations

  • EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organisations across the region approach data privacy. The key articles of the GDPR, as well as information on its business impact, can be found throughout this site.
  • Regulation on European Data Governance (proposal, not yet approved): this instrument aims to foster the availability of data for use by increasing trust in data intermediaries and by strengthening data-sharing mechanisms across the EU. Fundamental definitions in this proposal include: portable services – enabling the reuse of data held by public sector more widespread, including sensitive data -, data spaces – which will be technological infrastructure and governance mechanisms facilitating the exchange of data across the EU in a trustworthy and low cost manner-, and data altruism – making easier for individuals and companies to make data available for the benefit of the whole society (see Draft proposal).
  • EU Directive on open data and the re-use of public sector information: “introduces the concept of high value datasets (associated with important benefits for the society and economy). They are subject to a separate set of rules ensuring their availability free of charge, in machine readable formats, provided via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and, where relevant, as bulk download”. In addition, this Directive strengthens the transparency requirements for public-private agreements involving public sector information (European Commission, 2020).

Data and Standards

The EU funded project Syncronicity has created a framework for categorising different standards depending on the main goal the support achieving. Examples relevant for the development of Urban Data Platforms are presented below (Syncronicity, 2020)(Standards Library, 2021):

  1. Define Something:
    1. ITU-T Y4051 for common vocabulary for smart cities
    2. ISO/IEC 20546:2019 provides a set of terms and definitions needed to promote improved communication and understanding of Big Data.
    3. Data Catalog Vocabulary (DCAT)
  2. Understand something:
    1. PD8100 defines a smart city.
  3. Design something:
    1. ISO/IEC 30141:2018 Reference ICT Architecture
    2. DIN SPEC 91357 - Reference Architecture Model “Open Urban Platform” defines components and the architecture for an ICT architecture.
  4. Manage something:
    1. PAS183 provides a decision-making framework for sharing data,
    2. ISO/IEC TR 10032:2003 establishes a framework for coordinating the development of existing and future standards for the management of persistent data in information systems,
    3. ISO/IEC 30182:2017 offers guidance for interoperability between system components by aligning ontologies,
    4. ISO/IEC AWI 38507 describes governance implications of the use of AI by organisations,
    5. PAS 185:2017 specifies for establishing and implementing a security-minded approach.
  5. Measure something:
    1. ISO 37122 defines indicators for smart cities.

The creation of this Solution has been supported by EU funding

Use Cases

Eindhoven Open Data Portal

The open data portal of the City of Eindhoven was built with the goal of making data more accessible and useful. It helps to upload, share, use, analyse and visualize public data sets. The platform is highly user friendly and has very low barrier to use.

City Network Extension

Aberdeen City Council invested £2million in the connection of 57 Aberdeen City Council schools, buildings and community centres through what is known as the City Region Deal Digital strand of work.

Open Data Portal

The aim is to make cities more attractive, liveable and resilient through data and digital technology - improving the cities for their citizens and making them more attractive to potential investors.

Data Center - Real Time Governance

All sectors of administration were linked to a single data centre. A platform which enables the government to have access to real time data, accelerating decision making, with less budget and with accountability.

Real time weather monitoring

Hitachi's role in Andhra Pradesh was to create the Real Time Governance Center, by integrating data from over 30 gov’t departments providing 700+ services, and 10,000s of devices into a centralized integrated operations center.

Camera monitoring system

Hitachi's role in Andhra Pradesh was to create the Real Time Governance Center, by integrating data from over 30 gov’t departments providing 700+ services, and 10,000s of devices into a centralized integrated operations center.

Virtual classrooms

Hitachi's role in Andhra Pradesh was to create the Real Time Governance Center, by integrating data from over 30 gov’t departments providing 700+ services, and 10,000s of devices into a centralized integrated operations center.

Groundwater monitoring

Hitachi's role in Andhra Pradesh was to create the Real Time Governance Center, by integrating data from over 30 gov’t departments providing 700+ services, and 10,000s of devices into a centralized integrated operations center.

Biometric identification system

Hitachi's role in Andhra Pradesh was to create the Real Time Governance Center, by integrating data from over 30 gov’t departments providing 700+ services, and 10,000s of devices into a centralized integrated operations center.

City of Tequila gears up for a smart future

Culture, heritage, and a unique national drink. The Mexican town of Tequila has already captured the world’s attention. But now it’s about to become famous for a completely different reason: the town is going digital. By 2040, it doesn’t just want to be a smart town, it wants to be a Smart City.

Heerlens Heitje: the digital currency of and for Heerlen

The municipality of Heerlen in the Netherlands has developed a digital platform and a unique gamification feature for commissioning community service tasks to its residents.

Supporting New Mobility and reducing parked cars in the streets of Schwabing West, Munich

Mobility behaviour in highly densed cities needs a change towards a higher use of New Mobility. By presenting the full range of alternative mobility, this pilot project in Munich helped residents to change their daily mobility usage.

City Information Platform

The City Information Platform of Valladolid will be the system in charge of collecting, tracking and processing the whole set of variables being monitored to fulfil the requirements of the REMOURBAN plan and will assess the effectiveness of the interventions carried out

Werksviertel München - Digital Ecosystem

digital ecosystem for Werksviertel Munich. Our citizen-centric services and digital solutions connect citizens with the local communities, local businesses, the quartiers and new district Werksviertel Munich. It's all about people!

Big Data Visualization for Cologne

A Big Data Management Application, called Urban Cockpit has been implemented in the city of Cologne to provide a fast and easy overview of the data stored in the Urban Data Platform. It includes data from traffic management systems , energy providers and other such companies.

Citizen Platform for Urban Air Quality

Breeze Technologies is creating a citizen-driven air quality sensing network in the district Rothenburgsort in Hamburg, Germany.

Smart City Data Platform

To support with real time data integration in Smart Cities, a Smart City Data platform has been developed which enables faster integration of data. The data and governance layer have been separated to provide ownership to the data owners.

Sharing Cities Urban Sharing Platform (USP)

The Sharing Cities Urban Sharing Platform is a logical collection of technical components, capabilities and processes which provide functions and services that enable a Smart City.

Barcelona´s big data integration solution

Barcelona´s big data integration solution aims at developing a semantic model that reflects and connects three domains of interest: mobility, energy, and integrated infrastructures. 

Integrated ticketing and information system for smart mobility

The city of Turku created a new open data interface and platform into which the ticketing system of the public transport system is incorporated.

Open platform for multimodal mobility information and services

This Use Case is to develop an integrated Open Data mobility platform, gathering and providing information from all transport modes, prioritizing the more sustainable ones.

Community information and participation portal

A central internet platform for all citizens, companies and institutions of the project area Domagkpark and Parkstadt Schwabing serves as a communication channel to provide information, service and tips on the subject of mobility in the district.

Open Source Database

The use of database is essential in all modern project management. The essential question is hence whether the data collecting and processing changes in the implementation process are open source or the solution is vendor locked. Smarter Together Vienna chose an open source solution based on FIWARE.

Miljofordon.se - the Swedish clean vehicle portal

This website is Sweden’s leading source for facts on environmentally classified cars, light and heavy trucks, clean fuels, and the regulation of and incentives for clean vehicles. It will be developed and updated regularly with more information, for example about electric vehicle charging.

Cork Dashboard

Cork Dashboard provides citizens, public sector workers and companies with real-time information, time-series indicator data, and interactive maps about all aspects of the city and county. It enables users to gain detailed, up to date intelligence about the city that aids everyday decision making and fosters evidence-informed analysis.Data is pulled together from major sources -- including Cork City Council, Central Statistics Office, Eurostat, government departments and others, and includes links to a variety of existing external applications -- to provide interactive data visualisations. The underlying data is freely available, so others can undertake their own analysis and build their own applications and visualisations.

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