Monthly Archives: February 2015

City Focus: Copenhagen, the world’s smartest city?


Copenhagen has long been regarded as one of the smartest cities in the world, an achievement that was crowned by the city being awarded the Smart City Award in November 2014. There will be a strong Danish presence in London at Smart to Future Cities 2015, with four speakers discussing sustainable cities and urban development, implementing smart traffic management and parking systems, and developing standards and protocols for future city governance and IoT management. We caught up with two of these experts – Patrick Driscoll, Smart City Lab and Else Kloppenborg, Special Advisor, Smart Cities – to discuss smart cities, smart citizens and the priorities for the industry in 2015.

Else Kloppenborg, Special Adviser, Smart Cities City of Copenhagen

Else Kloppenborg, Special Adviser, Smart Cities City of Copenhagen

Patrick Driscoll, Smart City Lab, Denmark

Patrick Driscoll, Smart City Lab, Denmark

We start by thinking about how the smart city concept is evolving for 2015, and what the priorities for the industry should be. For Else, collaboration and flexibility are key, with cities that are “eager to develop comprehensive solutions that avoid vendor lock-in and allow flexible adaptation to changing needs over time”, with fruitful collaborations that “begin with high ambitions, based on dialogue, that make room for innovation to help us solve urban challenges of true value” to citizens. Patrick takes an alternative point of view, focusing on the complexity of urban planning and a perceived distance from citizens leading to a so-called ‘trough of disillusionment’. Therefore, he advises that industry priorities should be “1) security (sensor, network, data, critical infrastructure); 2) a strong push toward interoperability and open system standards; 3) citizen engagement, including the development of a clear governance framework concerning tracking, use of data, and most importantly the vision for why SC are the way forward”.

There has been an increasing focus on urban IoT and related services in the city, what are the reasons for this? According to Patrick, urban IoT offers “significant cost-saving potential for municipal authorities as well as the possibility for better understanding of real-time and historic patterns of material, energy, and people flows within the urban space”. Else looks at it from a service perspective: “the ambition in Copenhagen is to leverage services across sectors. We want to increase the quality of life and ensure good opportunities for growth, and generally develop our city, using for instance cheap RFID chips in the City’s own material to track it, increase security, efficient use and planning”.

“One of the truly revolutionary aspects of IoT that is under-appreciated is the ability to move past the traditional dichotomy of “dumb packages/smart networks (train networks)-smart packages/dumb networks (the Internet) to develop a “smart packages/smart networks” within the urban space that uses autonomous distributed architecture to create cheap, fault-tolerant, and resilient systems and networks” – Patrick Driscoll, Smart City Lab, Denmark

It goes without saying that the role of the citizen within the smart city is crucial, but how is this role developing? According to Else Kloppenborg, even though digital services are generally well developed in Copenhagen, “we can only do so much, using new technologies, IoT and data. Without citizens that experience added value of new services and use, for instance, new apps or share data to improve services, we will not be able to reap the full potential of what a smart city can be”. Patrick agrees that getting buy-in from citizens is vital, which is perhaps something that hasn’t been taken into account thus far: “Many of the existing SC strategies are elite- or industry-driven, leaving many citizens in the dark. This is a crucial mistake for two reasons. One is that given the potential for misuse, there will be inevitable blowback from civil society about the nature and extent of surveillance within the urban space. The European Court of Justice’s ruling on the right to be forgotten is only the beginning of a trend within the EU to value privacy over commerce. Involving citizens from the beginning is slower, but will lead to higher levels of acceptance of SC systems”.

Continue reading

Complimentary institutional strategic ICT Webinar: 3 weeks to go #futureedtech

ovum-helvetica-neue-rgb-smallComplimentary Webinar Invitation:
Leverage the tactical and strategic value of ICT in new institutional operating models.

At a time when the Higher Education sector is experiencing its most dynamic period of change to date, it’s even more imperative to capitalise on the importance of marrying up technology with the institution business needs and key strategic objectives.

Register now to secure your free place.

Join Nicole Engelbert (Director, Research & Analysis, Industries, Ovum) for a high-level discussion on how to successfully integrate ICT into institutional strategy and decision-making to deliver transformational change. Hear how to empower your institution to be more flexible and agile in the delivery of services and academic programs, accelerating the pace of innovation and ultimately improving its standing.

This complimentary 30 minute webinar is in partnership with Ovum’s Future EdTech 2015 Conference and will also feature a guest speaker from the 50+ strong conference speaker faculty line-up.

Register now to secure your free place.

Date: 11th March 2015

Time: 1pm London | 2pm Paris | 2pm Berlin | 8am New York | 4pm Dubai | 7am Chicago | 5am Los Angeles | 10am Sao Paulo | 3pm Johannesburg | 9pm Singapore | 5am San Francisco | 4pm Moscow | 3pm Helsinki | 6.30pm Mumbai.

Participating in this webinar will enable you to:

  • Successfully integrate ICT into institutional strategy and decision-making to deliver transformational change
  • Empower your institution to be more flexible and agile in the delivery of services and academic programs
  • Accelerate the pace of innovation and ultimately improve your institution’s standing

Register now to secure your free place.

This webinar is brought to you by Ovum in partnership with the Future Edtech Conference 2015.

Informed by input from our expert Advisory Board and exclusive Analysts’ insight, this two-day conference is Europe’s ONLY event offering undiluted Higher Education focus and will have the impact lacking from larger, less focused events. You will be able to maximise the return on your time out of the office by making valuable connections and benefiting from an agenda that is 100% relevant to your institution’s needs.

Click here for more information.

Future Edtech 2015 | Full agenda announced! 50+ speakers, 35+sessions #futureedtech

The Future EdTech Team are delighted to announce the event brochure. 50+ hand-picked speakers, 35+ insightful sessions to choose from, 10+ hours of networking, a social events programme and 250+ of your peers in attendance make Future EdTech 2015 THE must attend event!

Future Edtech Brochure

110+ of your peers have already registered. If you have not already done so, secure your free place today.

Join 250+ senior leaders from IT, administration, e-learning and academia in London this June at Europe’s ONLY event with an undiluted focus on marrying up technology with institutional goals in higher education.

We hope you can make it!

The Future EdTech Team

Download the Brochure

Register your free pass

What makes a city resilient?

resilient cities
Originally published on the Guardian Cities website.

When it comes to addressing civic problems, one of today’s buzzwords is “resilience”. The question of the purpose of cities, and their responsibility to their citizens, is at the centre of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities programme [who are presenting a keynote session at Smart to Future Cities Summit in London]. Designed to promote urban resilience around the world, the programme will award grants to 100 cities that “have demonstrated a dedicated commitment to building their own capacities to prepare for, withstand, and bounce back rapidly from shocks and stresses”. The Foundation’s support will include hiring a “chief resilience officer” for the city, as well as providing aid to develop a resilience plan and access to services to begin implementing that plan.

More than 1,000 cities registered to take part in the Resilient Cities programme, and almost 400 formally applied for inclusion. On 2 December, the foundation announced its first 33 honorees. Arrayed across six continents and 21 countries, the selected cities range from thriving megacities like Mexico City to struggling regional hubs like Rotterdam, relatively young metropolises like Porto Alegre to some of the oldest occupied areas on the planet, such as Rome. All have experienced significant setbacks that have tested their resilience, and they have all attempted to design programs and procedures to help them come to terms with their vulnerabilities.

According to the Rockefeller Foundation’s president, Judith Rodin, the intention is to circumvent the problem of conflicting civic and cultural philosophies by focusing on solving specific problems, using flooding as an example She says: “Your city’s vulnerability to water may require an 8ft-tall dike, while another city requires natural infrastructure like archipelagoes and oyster beds. Those are very different practices, but they represent the same resilience principle, which is that you’ve got to figure out how to deal with water in a way that really works.”

Ultimately, Rodin hopes, the programme will form the basis of a “set of systematic resilience principles that are generalisable”. And, eventually, she says, the project hopes to help all cities learn to view their specific problems “through a resilience lens”.

But is it possible to trade a specific regional lens for a worldwide one? Continue reading on the Guardian Cities website… to find out more.

Elizabeth Yee, VP Strategic Partnerships and Solutions at 100 Resilient Cities, will be presenting a keynote session at Smart to Future Cities 2015. Make sure you’re there to meet her and take the opportunity to ask questions! She is one of the 50+ strong panel of speakers and 150+ attendees already registered at Smart to Future Cities Summit 2015, which promises to be the most exciting to date.

NB: early-bird solution-provider registration rate ends on 27th February  save £400+ by registering early! Cities and enterprise can claim a complimentary pass.

Smart Future Cities