Smart City Apps Accelerate Under FIWARE Platform

Improve Your City (Mejora Tu Ciudad)

  • What it is: ImproveYourCity is a communication platform between citizens, city council and technicians and utilities. Citizens can send service requests, suggestions and ask questions via a mobile application or Web interface. City councils can manage the requests sent by citizens, generate work orders and control provider activity. Technicians and utilities can jointly management and work via application to manage maintenance equipment and communicate both with government and citizens.
  • Why it is needed: Where a lack of sensor infrastructure exists, it is possible to mobilize community members so that citizens act as the sensor, alerting city management to place management issues, and enabling councils to build a data model where sensors could be installed progressively. Like SeeClickFix, Improve Your City is not just a front-end for citizens to report issues, generating data and information that helps to manage the city resources.
  • How the project uses FIWARE: Originally built as one monolithic application, Improve Your City is now replacing individual services with aspects of the FIWARE Generic Enablers (GEs), as well as accessing other GEs to enable new functionality. This has included delegating storage and data management to the ORION Context Broker and Object Storage API; and using the Keystone SCIM extension as a replacement for OAuth, to abstract the security process.

Outbarriers

  • What it is: Outbarriers is a beacon-enabled, contextual city discovery app that enables people who are blind or vision impaired to receive information about restaurants, landmarks and city destinations via audible messages delivered within a certain range of the venue.
  • Why it is needed: People with vision impairment are often marginalized and unable to participate fully in civic life and are poorly serviced by existing travel and city discovery apps.
  • How the project uses FIWARE: The project was funded through FIWARE’s accelerator program and uses FIWARE’s generic enabler platform and technologies to create the app and embed the beacon-like devices in venues (which require low level information transmission and have a battery life of two years).

To date, FIWARE has built its API and IoT catalog of open source tools, held a round of startup and accelerator funding initiatives and these apps now represent the first wave of new solutions built through these investments.

As the apps continue to be released, FIWARE has been able to expand its network further. Four recent collaborations include:

  • Integration of FIWARE with the EU Open Data Portal: The new European Open Data Portal launched on 16 November 2015 is the major European data asset available for free for anyone to use, with already around 250,000 datasets available through a multilingual interface. The collaboration with FIWARE enables smart city tech developers to access the datasets directly from within their apps.
  • Partnership with TM Forum: TM Forum, the global digital business industry association has joined forces with FIWARE to spur the creation of a new wave of tech solutions that help improve city living, better manage the use of resources, and generate more equitable solutions for all citizens. A project automating cleaning of green spaces and public areas using water efficient techniques, and an in-vehicle route planner that avoids contributing more pollution to concentrated areas are two initiatives already created through the partnership.
  • Partnership with Global City Team Challenge: This initiative being led by the US Department of Commerce and the National Institute of Standards and Technology is designed to advance the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies within a smart city / smart community environment.
  • Expansion of OASC partnership cities: Building on their existing partnership with the Open and Agile Smart Cities initiative, FIWARE has now been made available to 75 cities that form part of the consortium, including recent UK additions Bristol, Leeds and Manchester as well as cities from Croatia, Belgium, Ireland, and Italy. Cities participating in OASC now come from 13 European countries plus Australia and Brazil. FIWARE is made available as a key backbone infrastructure for all cities participating.

In 2016, FIWARE plans to continue partnering with new accelerator funding providers. This will enable the platform to continue to invest in new startups building civic apps on its platform. As this generation of apps continues to get built out, assessments are being undertaken to identify the most viable for external investment. App developers can discover more about the platform and read about existing initiatives at the FIWARE Web site.

Be sure to read the next Cities article: Bigbelly Launches Smart Waste Management API

 

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