What is Urban Intelligence?

Buro Happold

19/08/2013 Written by: Robert Moyser Be the first to comment

I lead a team called the Urban Intelligence group; it’s been in existence for about a year and is a response to the work we have been doing in the SMART city market.

It‘s our view that a SMART city should be a living city i.e. one that aims to combine sustainable urban development with urban intelligence.

The mission of the Urban Intelligence Group, therefore, is to provide integrated future proofed solutions that are underpinned by technology to support The Living City approach to the built environment.

But what is this concept of urban intelligence?

Well, it can be defined as: “The planning, integration and deployment of ICT (both physical and virtual assets) to support the interoperability between resources and technology in real time to serve the city, its stakeholders and citizens.”

 

This covers a number of themes such as:

  • Future-proofing of the ICT infrastructure to ensure that it’s able to be adapted, modified and built upon in an effective way over the next 30 years or more when compared to the particularly fast-moving hi-tech industry
  • There are no real examples of a truly SMART city that’s actually been delivered and thus no precedents to reference. Consequently a market appraisal of existing and planned technology solutions is key to outline the opportunity
  • The software platform to support SMART cities is currently evolving along with developers, suppliers and vendors who are able to support  and operate it
  • The issues connected with ownership of information and governance aspects of a SMART city which need to be established and agreed with citizens
  • The engagement of citizens and communities with smart city technology
  • The need to support and facilitate sustainability goals, objectives and directives across a wide spectrum of operations
  • Business planning and return on investment (ROI) requires special consideration.

The above is captured in this graphic.

The role of ICT in the city landscape is fundamental to urban intelligence and Paul Goff brings his considerable expertise to lead this element of our business and to manage the relationships with our strategic technology partners.

The road ahead promises to be an exciting one as more cities become aware of SMART city opportunities as the market begins to mature. I look forward to keeping you posted about the work we are doing in this space…

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