Urban data platforms (UDPs) are helping smart cities to evolve. These platforms serve as the supporting pillars for many smart city applications. They can map, combine, and store data from a wide range of sources, and process them to help form practical solutions to city-wide problems. Urban data platforms are an important part of any smart city ecosystem, taking data from government sources, private enterprises, NGOs, and members of the public, to help provide data-driven solutions that benefit everyone.
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Jamie Cudden is the leader of Dublin City Council’s Smart City program. The Smart City program focuses on embracing new technologies to solve the many challenges that the city faces to make Dublin a more liveable city for all of its residents. Using pioneering ideas, involving 5G, Internet of Things, and Big Data, Dublin’s Smart City program has been able to develop and deploy a wide range of solutions for challenges such as citizen engagement, sustainable mobility, energy management, and more.
Since Dublin is a prime example of a smart city in action (read our Smart Dublin City Portrait for more information), we decided to get in touch with Jamie and find out how he helped to steer Dublin into a smarter future.
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As smart cities get smarter, citizens have begun to express concerns about the use of their data, and whether their privacy is being sacrificed for the benefit of big data.
Ever since the concept of a smart city first emerged, it has been clear that technological innovation, intelligent systems, and big data would be three key ingredients to a city’s success. While there’s no clear-cut definition of what a smart city is or has to include (see also our article Redefining the Smart City Concept: A New Smart City Definition), it has been universally acknowledged that the purpose of a smart city is to improve the lives of its residents.
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In 2012, Austrian author Marc Elsberg released his best-selling novel Blackout: Tomorrow Will Be Too Late. It’s a disaster thriller that focuses on cyber-terrorism. A group of disenfranchised hackers manipulates a network of European power stations, destabilizing the grid, and plunging Europe into chaos.
The loss of power is a catalyst that leads to a domino effect of disasters, from food shortages and the devaluation of money to nuclear catastrophes and societal collapse. Elsberg was praised for his meticulous research and realism. Of course, Blackout takes the dangers of a cyber-attack to the extreme, but it’s all within the bounds of possibility.
Though the events that take place in Blackout are a work of fiction, as more cities embrace inter-connectivity and smart technology, the threat of serious cyber-attacks on digital infrastructure is very real. In 2015, a cyber-attack compromised Ukraine’s power grid, compromising corporate date, denying the distribution of energy, disabling IT infrastructure, and destroying countless data files.
As cities get smarter, it begs the question: if a power station can be hacked, what else can be?
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The importance of smart cities & smart citizens: In our interview series, smart city leaders comment on the future of smart cities, the role of technology, and the benefits for citizens. In our second interview of the series, we have asked urban strategist and smart city expert Boyd Cohen to share his expertise, thoughts and insights with us on a number of important smart city topics.
Co-Creation Smart City Internet of Things (IoT) Sustainability Renewable Energy Smart Citizens Urban Innovation Blockchain Blockchain Cities IoMob Urban Mobility Regulation Citizen-Centric Smart City Initiatives
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As we discussed in our previous article (Blockchain: The Next Frontier of Smart Cities - Part 1), blockchain has the potential to transform our communities, making the places we call home more collaborative, democratic and sustainable places. It is no surprise then, that a whole bunch of cities - from Santiago de Chile, Toronto, Tel Aviv, Oslo, and Milan, to London, and Stockholm - are already developing blockchain-based projects. Dubai is going even further, aiming to become the world’s first fully ‘blockchain-powered city’ by 2020. Lofty ideals aside, as we examined in part 1, blockchain does actually seem to offer some concrete benefits for communities, as we shall see below.
Smart City Solutions Collective Intelligence Transparency Smart City Internet of Things (IoT) Smart Cities Decentralized Governance Democratic Participation Blockchain Data Security Data Control Blockchain Cities IoMob Security Behavioral Change Trust Safety