Real-time decision support system for city management

The complexity of the current major societal challenges in urban centers demands the wide-scale deployment of solutions and services based on accurate and timely information. This solution allows cities to move towards a sustainable transformation while spending less public resources and improving services offered to their citizens. Furthermore, implementing a common performance measurement framework based on relevant indicators, open data applications, and decision-support user interfaces enable stakeholders to learn from each other, create trust in solutions, and monitor progress.

Smart city performance measurement framework

The European Commission has developed two parallel approaches to support the implementation of smart urban technologies: large scale demonstration of the technology in cities and communities (‘lighthouse projects’) and ‘horizontal activities’ to address specific challenges as in regulatory barriers, in standardization, public procurement, and performance monitoring. The CITY KEYS project, funded by the EC under the H2020 Programme, addresses these horizontal challenges. The goal is to provide a validated, holistic performance measurement framework for monitoring and comparing the implementation of Smart City solutions.

Smart City Governance

The CITYKEYS framework is defined as a smart city performance assessment system that includes city requirements, key performance indicators (KPI) ontology, and calculation, and data collection methodology (Figure 1). This development work is based on the following key pillars:

  • Extensive collaboration and communication with European cities.
  • Establish a baseline by analysis and integration of existing results from previous initiatives.
  • Develop a set of KPIs to evaluate the impacts of smart city projects/initiatives.
  • Solutions for transparent and open data collection and processing.
  • Validation based on real data during implementation testing in case cities.
  • Identifying new business opportunities and building recommendations for the implementation of performance evaluation. These also include recommended paths for the future development of a ‘smart city index.’

To achieve the objectives, CITYKEYS is building on existing smart city and sustainable city assessment frameworks. The bases are the traditional sustainability categories People, Profit, and Planet, but the performance measurement framework will integrate specific smart city KPIs and assessment methodologies.

Data collection and decision-support system

Developing the performance measurement prototype system is based on the data sources needed to calculate the defined indicators, a transparent data collection methodology, the KPIs calculation procedures, and visualization. The formulation of relevant KPIs will be based on harmonizing existing environmental, technological, economic, and social indicators for Smart Cities and specifying missing ones.

  • The Performance measurement system meta-data model and calculation methodologies are based on:
  • Defining the needed data sets to be collected based on the specified indicators.
  • Identifying available data sources, their reliability, accessibility, and data models.
  • Specifying the collection system and calculation methodologies for the performance measurements’.
  • Developing a prototype of the performance measurement system integrating input specifications, calculation methodology, and visualization.

The CITYKEYS framework will be tested in the five partner cities: Tampere, Rotterdam, Vienna, Zagreb, and Zaragoza. The cities will be involved in defining the stakeholder needs and the performance system requirements (including usability requirements), evaluating and testing the system prototype, and building recommendations for its implementation in planning and municipal decision-making processes.

Boosting the wide-scale deployment of smart city solutions

The results will impact the transition to low-carbon, resource-efficient cities by creating the necessary framework for performance assessment of smart cities’ deployment. The performance measurement framework will include specific smart city KPIs that go beyond the traditional division into categories and measure the technological solutions’ integration level and openness. This supports planning and procurement processes, allowing the stakeholders to access and compare different solutions and planning scenarios and thus impacting the deployment of the most suitable ones.

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