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For smart city initiatives to take root, they need public buy-in, and that means the data privacy challenge needs to be tackled.

In today’s landscape, the success of enterprises, both public and private, now rests on how they utilize data.

Organizations of various sizes collect a wealth of data in major cities but principally for their own use, while citizens themselves seemingly derive little benefit from that harvest.

As we progress towards a future of smart cities — powered around the clock by masses of real-time data — researchers from the University of Oslo (UiO) know that buy-in from society will be crucial for the success of these initiatives, and are trying to turn the tables in the favor of public interest.

Academics Geir Horn and Frank Eliassen plan to leverage the streams of data collected by corporations to develop a set of new services that will greatly improve the quality of life in densely populated cities.

The best part is each individual will have control over how data is shared, with whom, and the ways it will be used.

“Our project is based on a hypothesis that safe and secure data sharing creates many new opportunities, not only for businesses and public enterprises but also for individual citizens. The principal idea is to use the data available in the city of the future in a way that is in the best interest of both the city and its citizens,” said Eliassen.

The project, CityZen, is a major collaborative initiative between areas in Oslo and Stavanger, acting as ‘test arenas’ for safe, secure data sharing with well-informed and empowered citizens.

For example, utility companies can leverage citizens’ data to enhance resource consumption and reduce costs. Based on a home’s usage, electric companies can harness insights to formulate plans for sustainable energy and predictive maintenance, directly impacting the lives of citizens.

Urban mobility will be significantly affected as well; data analytics can help monitor and disperse traffic congestion in cities.

Insights on public transport operations will come in handy when notifying users of closure or maintenance work, navigating users to alternative routes and inevitably diverting traffic to prevent further congestion in the city. In the long run, crucial data on road management will help with urban planning and transport development, particularly as autonomous vehicles become a reality.

The high degree of digitization in Norway means groundwork has already been laid out and significant opportunities are waiting to be discovered.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Jia Jen Low

Quelle/Source: TechHQ, 12.02.2020

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