Connected City Creates “Living Laboratory”

3/12/2013

The connected city concept is all about integrating information from a variety of sources. With more access to information, city departments and citizens can make better, faster decisions. In urban environments, a connected city can create opportunities for information sharing and enhanced services.

Technologies for a more connected city will be used in the Montpellier District of France, which recently announced a project with IBM, www.ibm.com, to use data for a variety of purposes. IBM says the area will be an “urban living laboratory” for new services.

One of the goals is to improve information sharing within the district, including departments such as water management, transportation, emergency management, and mobile commerce in Montpellier’s EcoCité zone. IBM will work with the Universities of Montpellier 1 and 2, and IDATE, www.idate.org, a research organization, to collect and analyze data.


A number of projects will use the data collected. Some of the planned initiatives include providing mobile-based realtime transportation information to citizens in order to encourage the use of public transit. A planned emergency operations management center would use realtime data to offer insight to officials on events and threats.

IBM will provide an intelligent dashboard for the project that provides visibility into information from across the district. It’s a cloud-based system, and the information will be hosted in a public cloud data center in IBM France.

IBM says later this year, a demonstration center will open at the Montpellier District’s international office center that will help to inform residents about the project and how they can become more involved.

The idea of the connected city is gaining ground, as seen during the Connected City exhibit at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The exhibit allowed attendees to experience a future city where wireless connectivity allows many aspects of a city to connect. As cities grow in population, these types of technologies will prove more vital to operations.

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