Smart Cities: From Information Silos to Holistic Visions
The incorporation of technological solutions in urban management is giving rise to a constant flow of huge amounts of data requiring transformation in order to extract valuable information to facilitate meeting the challenges that 21st-century cities face.
It is a first step towards endowing cities with intelligence, but it’s not enough. Cities are intricate systems increasingly becoming more complex, wherein changes in one variable can alter the entire system. Just think about current realities, such as, for instance, the marked increase of tourists in our cities. From a strictly economic point of view, tourists generate income and wealth. But if the analysis is done from the viewpoint of citizen mobility, mass tourism creates problems of sustainability in transport and, in the most extreme cases, of coexistence between residents and visitors. The question is: how can cities strike a balance among the different challenges facing them?
If we want technology solutions to acquire real value in the management of cities, it is necessary an integrated and coherent vision, focusing on the city as a whole and capable of resolving an equation with multiple “unknowns” due to its growing complexity.
To achieve this, it is indispensable to go beyond the information silos generated by the different departments, agencies and institutions intervening in effective city management, such that strategies and services are implemented from a seamless, integrated and coordinated vision.
To surmount this individualized and vertical data capture, we at Ikusi have developed an Urban Management Platform that promotes the integration, interoperability and coordination of different data sources and applications. This integrated platform for managing urban services centralizes, processes and uses data in real time, transforming it into useful information with intelligence business and big data tools in order to determine the overall status of the entire city. Likewise, it enables detailed monitoring of the varied processes providing support to those initiatives aimed at achieving smarter, more sustainable cities.
Such analysis of a gradually increasing amount of data will enable us to move towards predictive analysis, which will explain what is going to happen, and, in the advanced stage of this process of creating data-based knowledge, we will be capable of developing prescriptive analysis and making things happen just as we have projected. At Ikusi, we are already working on specific projects, facilitating the entry of cities such as San Sebastián or Mérida (Mexico) into the smart cities club.