smart city
Europe and Japan have partnered on a research project aimed at developing cloud-based urban data infrastructure that will be used as a foundation for smart cities.

The EU-Japan collaboration is an EU-funded initiative which includes government and private sector players in Japan and Europe, as well as participation by the Bern University’s E-Government Institute.

The project, called “City Platform-as-a-Service – integrated and open,” or abbreviated as CPaaS.io comes as interest in smart cities collaboration is on the rise globally. [US city joins White House smart cities network]

According to Readwrite, the experimental platform will work toward linking such technologies as big data, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing with Linked Open Data and open government data. This will allow cities and private firms to develop new applications and services for the public and businesses.

The platform is operated by or on behalf of a city, forming the basis for an open digitized society, making the city more attractive for its citizens and new businesses, and also helping the city in streamlining and improving its own governmental processes and services.

The project will focus on developing a “as-a-service” model. The project’s website stated that, flexibility and elasticity will be key principles in the design of the architecture in order to support the deployment in many different cities with differing requirements, both regarding use cases, services and operational aspects.

“The platform will also annotate such inherently unreliable IoT data with quality parameters, so that applications can decide if the data quality is good enough to be used.”

As the cloud platform is rolled out, it will be validated in cities currently possessing advanced Open Data capability. Currently the European cities involved include Amsterdam, Zurich and Murcia1 (Spain), while Japanese locations include Tokyo, Sapporo and Yokosuka.

City leaders launch smart cities consultancy

In related news, ex-city leaders of Los Angeles, Washington DC and Chicago have come together to establish a consultancy, CityFi, which aims to advise urban governments on the deployment of connected sensor technologies that are the “bedrock” of smart cities initiatives.

The group was reported saying that, “We advise cities, corporations, foundations and startups, helping them make sense of our urbanizing world. [Private sector is critical to smart cities development – report]

“CityFi believes that great cities come not from monolithic projects but rather emerge from carefully-designed underlying conditions — street grids, equitable housing policies, business-friendly regulation — so that beneficial complexity can grow.”

The founding members of the consulting group are pooling their talents to provide services that cover three areas, including municipal innovation, community empowerment and the business of great cities.

Prior to its launch, individual group members have been working separately, consulting for cities such as LA, Seattle, Denver and Nashville in the past year.

“The public and private models that informed urban design in the 20th century are in the process of massive transformation. Businesses need open-minded governments and those same governments need private sector innovation for mutual success,” said the group.