SMART CITY PROGRAMS
Comprehensive solutions to upgrade city services, lighting, connectivity and security at scale.
END-TO-END CITY SOLUTIONS
As population growth in urban areas soars, governments are looking for new technology solutions to empower their citizens and manage their growth. Upgrading legacy infrastructure and connecting their street lights, electricity grid, transportation and city services to platforms that offer efficiency and connectivity solves these problems and positions cities to capture significant value.
Tarsier is focused on building solutions that emphasize sustainability. Not only in energy generation and usage, but in the program’s financing structure and a city’s ability to continually invest in its most precious asset: its citizens. By establishing Public-Private Partnerships, Tarsier can package a smart city solution in a capital-efficient and mutually-beneficial way.
SMART CITY AS A SERVICE
WHAT IS A SMART CITY?
“A city well performing in a forward-looking way in economy, people, governance, mobility, environment & living, built on the smart combination of endowments and activities of self-decisive independent and aware citizens”. Giffinger and Gudrum
“A city is smart when investments in human and social capital and traditional (transport) and modern (ICT) communication infrastructure fuel sustainable economic growth and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory governance”. Caragliu
CHALLENGES MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS FACE DELIVERING SERVICES
Regional and municipal governments and large public organizations are striving to deliver higher levels of service, but are challenged with at or decreased funding to support their efforts. One solution is to use the vast stores of data available to gain a better perspective to identify opportunities to deliver services more ef ciently, and engage stakeholders with open data initiatives to create innovative programs – in effect becoming a smart city. A framework approach to apply advanced analytics to these oods of data provides a roadmap to achieve these aims, but city IT organizations are often limited by staff size, skill and budget, and are unable to implement the framework on their own. Cloud computing and software as a service can provide the means to quickly acquire data-driven decision-making capabilities that support smart city initiatives, putting advanced services within reach of virtually any size city.
Public safety organizations, municipal administrations and public service departments, including transportation and municipally owned utilities, generate and consume a lot of data.1 Local government amasses volumes of data on everything from public works, public safety and public facilities to elections, permitting and taxes. Every day, new data is created from across a city’s infrastructure through sensors and video cameras, as well as from people interacting with the government and from mobile apps. Legislation mandating retention periods2 guarantees that legacy data accumulates, and the mass is perpetually growing from new data that is continually arriving in structured and unstructured formats. Although this ood of data is challenging, there is ample opportunity to fundamentally change the way services are delivered.
Retrofitting existing legacy city infrastructure to make it smart
There are a number of latent issues to consider when reviewing a smart city strategy. The most important is to determine the existing city’s weak areas that need utmost consideration, e.g. 100-per-cent distribution of water supply and sanitation. The integration of formerly isolated legacy systems to achieve citywide efficiencies can be a significant challenge.
Financing smart cities
It requires a lot of capital to transform the city. One needs to see how these projects will be financed as the majority of project need would move through complete private investment or through PPPs (public-private partnership).
Availability of master plan or city development plan
Most of our cities don’t have master plans or a city development plan, which is the key to smart city planning and implementation and encapsulates all a city needs to improve and provide better opportunities to its citizens.
Most of the cities are not financially self-sustainable and tariff levels for providing services often do not mirror the cost of supplying the same. Even if additional investments are recovered in a phased manner, inadequate cost recovery will lead to continued financial losses.
Most cities have limited technical capacity to ensure timely and cost-effective implementation and subsequent operations and maintenance owing to limited recruitment over a number of years along with inability of the cities to attract best of talent at market competitive compensation rates.
Successful implementation of smart city solutions needs effective horizontal and vertical coordination between various institutions providing various municipal amenities as well as effective coordination between central government (MoUD), state government and local government agencies on various issues related to financing and sharing of best practices and service delivery processes.
Providing clearances in a timely manner
For timely completion of the project, all clearances should use online processes and be cleared in a time-bound manner. A regulatory body should be set up for all utility services so that a level playing field is made available to the private sector and tariffs are set in a manner that balances financial sustainability with quality.
Dealing with a multivendor environment
Another major challenge in the smart city space is that (usually) software infrastructure in cities contains components supplied by different vendors. Hence, the ability to handle complex combinations of smart city solutions developed by multiple technology vendors becomes very significant.
Capacity building programme
Building capacity for smart cities is not an easy task and most ambitious projects are delayed owing to lack of quality manpower, both at the centre and state levels. In terms of funds, only around 5 per cent of the central allocation may be allocated for capacity building programs that focus on training, contextual research, knowledge exchange and a rich database. Investments in capacity building programs have a multiplier effect as they help in time-bound completion of projects and in designing programs, developing faculty, building databases as well as designing tool kits and decision support systems. As all these have a lag time, capacity building needs to be strengthened right at the beginning.
Reliability of utility services
For any smart city in the world, the focus is on reliability of utility services, whether it is electricity, water, telephone or broadband services. Smart cities should have universal access to electricity 24×7; this is not possible with the existing supply and distribution system. Cities need to shift towards renewable sources and focus on green buildings and green transport to reduce the need for electricity.
ANALYTICS APPLIED TO CITY PROBLEMS
Business intelligence and analytics have a strong foothold in modern government.6 In public safety, for instance, data mining and analytics are helping to shift crime ghting work from reactive to predictive and preventative modes in cities such as Vancouver, Memphis and London. The use of analytics in other domains, such as education, water and public transportation, illustrate how cities are integrating analytic capabilities into many domains to solve problems confronting them.7 The resulting bene ts include improved program success, cost savings and higher levels of services for citizens. Municipal governments seeking to generate value from their data will use analytics to learn from the past, look into the future, guide policy and activity to obtain optimal outcomes, and understand relationships between events and locations.
Frost & Sullivan