There are many definitions of Smart Cities and examples of what they can achieve. However, it would appear that there is no cogent model or framework to define them let alone measure their success. That being said, Marc Jadoul from Alcatel Lucent has laid out four steps to build Smarter Cities in a recent presentation:
1. Networked infrastructure
2. Big data and open data
3. Smart public services
4. Citizen applications
Not surprisingly, a network communications platform is the foundation for the plan. Jadoul was very complimentary on Australia’s investment in the National broadband Network (NBN) that will assist to establish high speed connectivity across the country.
The second step is about data and governance. Data comes in many forms and sources. Jadoul reckons that ‘big data’ is the oil of the 21st century. With already more things connected to the internet than people on our planet, the Internet of Things (IoT) is creating a wealth of (big) data to be tapped. Our smart phones and cars are already generating legions of dynamic data from multiple sensors. Combined with sensors tied to all sorts of assets such street lights, CCTV cameras, shipping containers and even connected coffee pots our cup runneth over.
Call triple zero; you expect the ambulance to get there promptly. Move into a new house; you expect to be able to get connected to gas and electricity etc. Many vital life transactions depend on reliable geospatial data for property addresses. In Victoria, the custodian for provision of most address data is your local government.
Many local councils currently face challenges maintaining this and other geospatial data, often due to easily preventable organisational issues. A key flaw with many councils’ is the lack of appreciation of the importance of geospatial data among the organisation’s upper tiers.