An open platform for the Smart City
The E-Government Institute of the Bern University of Applied Sciences has won an important EU-funded project. Together with partners in Europe and Japan a platform is being developed, on which open government data combined with the Internet of Things is provided to a variety of users.
The digital society is bringing about many changes, especially in the urban environment. To address these challenges and shape them in a positive way, the research project CPaaS.io (City Platform-as-a-Service – integrated and open) has started this July. This collaborative project between Europe and Japan aims to provide cities a cloud-based urban data infrastructure, which is an important foundation for the development towards a smart city. The platform links technologies like the Internet of Things, Big Data, and Cloud with Open Government Data (OGD) and Linked Open Data in order to enable a multitude of different applications. Therefore novel services can be provided either by the city itself or by third parties to the public as well as to businesses. This allows for example managing large events better: In which direction are visitors streaming? How can public transportation dynamically be adapted to respond to the current situation? How can authorities react to hazardous situations, accidents, sudden weather changes etc.? The practical relevance of the platform will be validated with cities that have already experience in the Open Data area. In Europe these are Amsterdam, Murcia and Zurich, and in Japan Sapporo, Tokyo and Yokosuka.
The project will be running for 2.5 years and is being coordinated by the Bern University of Applied Sciences in Europe, and by the YRP Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory in Japan. The European coordinator, Stephan Haller, faculty of economics of the Bern University of Applied Sciences, sees several benefits of such a platform: „It contributes strongly to urban innovation and strengthens the attractiveness and competitiveness of the city. By providing open data, it possibly attracts additional businesses. And the platform empowers the individual citizen to gain control about his or her data and to define, who is allowed to use which data how.”
Additional partners in the project are in Europe AGT, NEC, Odin Solutions, The Things Network and the University of Surrey, and in Japan ACCESS Co., Microsoft Japan, Ubiquitous Computing Technology Corporation and the University of Tokyo.