How Big Data May Help Sustain A Sustainable City


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Global IT firm Hitachi Consulting has been chosen to build a first-of-its-kind Big Data platform for Denmark’s capital Copenhagen to help deliver its targets on sustainability.

Hitachi Consulting will work together with the City of Copenhagen, Capital Region, the Danish cluster organization, CLEAN, and a consortium of alliance partners, to develop this Big Data Platform.

The Copenhagen Big Data project is anticipated to deliver the first platform on which data collection, integration and sharing is centralised for an entire city. Copenhagen is already considered a leader in smart city programmes, winning a World Smart Cities award in 2014.

However, up to now, data from individual smart city initiatives in Copenhagen and worldwide, such as smart lighting and traffic management, have not been joined-up.
The integrated platform is expected to establish a city data marketplace for the sale and purchase of data between businesses and is one of the first times public data and private data volunteered by businesses and citizens will be combined.

“The platform is anticipated to enable advanced analytics to support city functions like green infrastructure planning, traffic management and energy usage, by integrating data from multiple sources including demographics, crime statistics, any sensor-based source – energy consumption meters, air quality sensors and traffic sensors to name but a few – and information submitted by citizens and businesses.”

The data marketplace is also expected to offer businesses unprecedented insight into interactions and relationships between different city functions, supporting core business planning and fostering new business opportunities.

Following on from the establishment of Hitachi’s mainland European Big Data laboratory in Copenhagen last year, the Big Data platform is to be the first step in harnessing the far-reaching opportunities of Big Data for the city.

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Developing new Applications

Providing an exceptional source of rich data to smartphone and web app developers through the marketplace, it is intended that the platform will enable development of a whole host of new applications designed to benefit citizens, businesses, job creation and the City of Copenhagen. The platform is also expected to help the city reach its ambitious climate target of becoming carbon-neutral by 2025.

“Hitachi Consulting is proud to be embarking on this journey with such an innovative and forward looking city. We believe that the combination of public and private data in a city-wide Big Data digital infrastructure will transform urban planning and provide benefits to businesses, improve the safety, wellbeing and comfort of citizens, and enhance the efficiency of the City of Copenhagen”, says Hans Lindeman, Hitachi Consulting, Senior Vice President of Social Innovation Business.

The first two of these applications to be built by Hitachi Consulting shall be designed to pave the way for integrating more applications with the platform. The first will be designed to integrate data from Danish energy providers to help companies and citizens compare their energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint with others, and relate it to key business and personal metrics like number of employees and office or living space.

The second application will be designed to allow citizens to report city issues like potholes or public property damage via their smartphones. The app will further be designed to recommend alternative transport options with a lower GHG footprint, cost, as well as possible healthier options from both environmental and exercise perspectives, based on the users’ current use of transportation.

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“In Copenhagen, we are at the forefront when it comes to creating sustainable, high-tech solutions. The new Big Data platform is expected to provide citizens and businesses access to information, which among other things, can create new technological solutions. For instance developing applications to save energy and increase mobility for companies and citizens. Innovative solutions can also help foster growth and create jobs in Copenhagen”, says Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen.

Building is scheduled to commence in April 2015, and the platform and pilot applications are expected to be complete by the end of the year. The project was funded by the Copenhagen municipality, the Capital Region and Realdania and was conceptualised with the City of Copenhagen and CLEAN, the Danish cleantech cluster organisation.

Anders Eldrup, Chairman of CLEAN, said:

“Here we have a prime example of how public authorities and cities can spur innovation in the private sector by displaying major unsolved challenges and using their public procurement more intelligently. Hitachi Consulting has shown visionary leadership and commitment, which is expected to result in a Big Data platform laying the ground for a Big Data breakthrough and a smart city ecosystem in Denmark.”


This feature is adopted from State Of Green by Anne Vestergaard Andersen.


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