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Technology

Data Exchange Framework for Smart Cities Completes First Phase

The exchange aims to help cities use data to improve their decision-making

US Ignite, the non-profit which aims to accelerate the smart cities movement, and technology company, ATIS, have completed the first phase of the Smart Cities Data Exchange framework.

The project began in September 2018 to create a blueprint for the secure and interoperable exchange of data beyond city operational boundaries.

Building momentum

More than 10 community partners and nearly a dozen companies have joined the project working group. The consortium has defined its area of focus and created an implementation plan based on the scenario of exchanging community and economic development data, with an emphasis on datasets that contribute to measures of mobility and livability across a region.

 

Traditional data like municipal budgets and crime reports, as well as new data from sensors, vehicles, and IoT-enabled infrastructure, have the power to improve decision-making processes related to housing, transit, and commercial development at the local level. However, for cities to benefit from this information, they need new data-driven tools to visualise development outcomes and effectively assess neighborhood impact.

“Smart cities will be defined in the near future as much by their digital infrastructure as their physical structures”

Cities also need to be able to share data in an interoperable and secure way with other cities, adjacent communities, federal/state government agencies, trusted partners, citizens, and application developers.

 

“Data sharing is critical to solving problems that naturally extend beyond municipal boundaries,” said Nick Maynard, chief strategy officer of US Ignite. “Whether communities are tackling issues around accessibility, commercial real estate development, or equitable transportation, the solutions all depend on knowing where the pain points lie, and what resources are available for use. Unfortunately, that information doesn’t reside in a single departmental database.”

How the exchange will work

The Smart Cities Data Exchange framework will detail the processes for: taking data from community development source systems (such as traffic sensor data and affordable housing stock), creating a pipeline for data transformation into a common open schema, merging data from across multiple communities, and serving data through APIs, discovery systems, and visualisation tools.

“Smart cities will be defined in the near future as much by their digital infrastructure as their physical structures,” said Mike Nawrocki, ATIS vice president, technology and solutions. “Only by unlocking the data available to them will communities be able to ensure equitable opportunities for economic growth and a higher quality of life for citizens.”

“Data sharing is critical to solving problems that naturally extend beyond municipal boundaries”

In addition to a framework with technical specifications and data-sharing practices, the Smart Cities Data Exchange project team aims to produce a single, highly visual tool that will help communities explore and provide snapshots of development potential on a property-by-property basis based on zoning, development standards, infrastructure requirements, and funding options.

Such a tool would enable communities to analyse land use scenarios in the context of building healthier neighbourhoods, in terms of multimodal transportation, walkability, and ease of access to complementary services.

The new consortium of industry partners includes: AT&T; C Spire; Cisco; Fujitsu; Current by GE; iconectiv; Interdigital; Microsoft; Oracle; Qualcomm; and Verizon.

Community partners include: Austin; Chattanooga; Colorado Springs; Denver, District of Columbia; Independence; Kansas City; Las Vegas; Portland; San Diego and Virginia Beach.

The Smart Cities Data Exchange project welcomes potential partners interested in supporting further development.

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