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Open data project boosts Smart Cities


Smart Cities could be taken to new heights thanks to an innovative EU-Japan collaboration.

With urban environments facing a number of challenges from today’s digital society, (City Platform-as-a-service – integrated and open) was recently formed.

For the next 2.5 years, the EU-funded research project between government and private sector players in Japan and Europe, with the help of the Bern University’s E-Government Institute, will develop cloud-based urban data infrastructure that will be used as a key foundation that smart cities can build on, according to a news release.

The initiative aims to link technologies such as the Internet of Things, big data, and cloud with Open Government Data (OGD) and Linked Open Data to allow cities and private firms to develop new applications and services for the public and businesses.

This project could help manage large events better in smart cities, with examples being everything from when to run public transportation, to how authorities react to accidents or sudden weather changes.

“The platform – operated by or on behalf of a city – thus forms 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,” according to the project website.

And what cities will the platform have an effect?

According to the release, the platform will be validated by cities with open data experience. In Europe these are Amsterdam, Murcia and Zurich, and in Japan Sapporo, Tokyo and Yokosuka.

According to, the project will be broken down into six objectives.

  1. Develop an open social city platform

  2. Deploy the city platform, as a service solution

  3. Empower the citizen to their data

  4. Validate the platform with use cases providing public value

  5. Develop blue prints for the adaption and transfer of solutions to other cities

  6. Create impact on cities

“It (the project) 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,” said European coordinator Stephan Haller, faculty of economics of the Bern University of Applied Sciences.

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Michael Sutherland-Shaw

Michael Sutherland-Shaw

Marketing Communications Specialist at FreeBalance
Michael works in the marketing and communications department following a career in journalism. Michael is currently learning Ruby on Rails and loves discovering new music.

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