IoT and Big Data – Creating The Spine for Smart Cities

 In Internet of Things

We were excited to see a recent announcement from entrepreneur, philanthropist and ex-major of New York City Mike Bloomberg’s Bloomberg Philanthropies, in collaboration with the Aspen Institute, on its first global initiative to help leading cities prepare for the advent of autonomous vehicles.

Driverless vehicles are certainly a cool topic, and one with great potential to alleviate city transportation challenges – just one area for how cities can become smart. Mike Bloomberg is a leading thinker on the issues of innovative government especially for cities around the world.

In his own words, “For the first time, cities are home to most of the world’s population. By 2050 it is projected that three of every four people will live in cities. This historic shift presents challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, city leaders must find ways to use limited resources to serve growing numbers of people. On the other, cities are drivers of progress and innovation, and hold the solution to many of the pressing issues we face – from confronting climate change and improving public health to creating jobs in a changing global economy. By helping city governments innovate, engage the public, make the most of their resources and turn bold new ideas into policy, we can improve the lives of billions of people.”

Here at Persistent, we’ve done some ground-breaking projects related to innovative governance. For just one example, see our case study on how we digitally transformed the legislative assembly in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, for more efficient record keeping and access to citizens, enabling transparency and accountability.

Combining the power of Big Data analytics with the ease of access social media offers – the opportunity to radically transform government efficiency, access and transparency is enormous, with new levels of citizen engagement.

Another core enabler for this type of innovation is IoT – the wide-ranging Internet of Things phenomena – harnessing massive amounts of data from a wide range of devices. We can now constantly monitor everything from air quality to traffic volumes, or monitoring epidemics like the recent Zika virus, enabling us to monitor quality of life and health issues, and issue extremely tailored safety alerts and traffic reports.

Persistent’s smart city solutions leverage IBM Watson IoT to ingest vast amounts of sensor data, crowd-sourced data, enterprise data and third party city-centric data. The goal is to simplify and improve citizen experience, promote local business, simplify delivery of city utilities or services, and implement new governance and public works faster, cheaper and more efficiently.

We’ll continue to watch with interest the smart cities initiatives around the world and anticipate the digital transformation that lies ahead.

Siddhesh Bhobe – Head, Innovations | @siddheshb
Ann O’Leary – Marketing Strategist

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