With an urban population on the rise, creating livable environments in which people and businesses can thrive has become one of today’s most pressing issues. In answer to this challenge, an increasing number of cities and metropolitan areas are embracing the “Smart City” concept: efficient infrastructure with an information network, eco-friendly mobility, creativity, and high productivity. In reality, smart means adopting a more efficient management of services and turning cities into enablers of innovation, economic growth, and well-being.
With FIWARE, cities can achieve this transformation with minimum effort but great impact, by adopting common standard APIs and information models.
Moving From Vision to Execution: The Transformation Journey
Efficient and Open: Most cities are already efficient and open. They manage vertical solutions (some being IoT-enabled) and publish historical and static data as open data, bringing efficiency but in silos. For most cities, this is the start of their transformation journey.
Becoming Truly Smart:
Our Reference Architecture for Smart Cities breaks vertical silos, building a Context Info Management layer that provides a holistic picture of what is going on in the city. By making city data public and merging data from multiple verticals, city-level governance systems can be enhanced.
Common Information Models:
Due to “de-facto” standard information models there are no costs of adaptation to achieve full interoperability among many different systems in the city. This, in turn, enables portability of systems across sectors and cities.
Unleashing Right-time Open Data:
Third party solution providers can benefit from right-time open data published by the city and made available through standard APIs. They can sell their solutions to cities across the world, targeting a larger market and boosting businesses.
Thriving Data Economy:
Once the data gathered from all sources are made public and exchangeable, city administrators can offer higher value services to citizens, as well as improving public service delivery. This creates an innovative scenario which cities, private business, and citizens can benefit from.
As a city grows through the different levels of maturity, the support of a platform model brings the infrastructure that is needed to create innovative and sustainable business models, based on the development of multi-sided markets where different actors (operating locally or aiming to scale across a wide range of cities) can benefit and play an active role, preserving data sovereignty. The role of the city platform then is to connect consumers and producers, enabling a federated publication of context data, allowing app builders to find and use data from city and third-party sources while preserving data sovereignty.
FIWARE is an open source initiative defining a universal set of standards for context data management which facilitate the development of Smart Solutions for different domains. The Orion Context Broker is its core component. Selected in 2018 by the European Commission as a Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Building Block, it gathers, manages and provides access to context information coming from different sources describing what is going on in a city.
Coupled with a set of additional FIWARE components, the Orion Context Broker facilitates:
The interaction between IoT sensors and other devices, as well as vertical smart solutions and other information systems.
The processing of current real-time and historical data to extract valuable insights that can aid cities in their smart decisions and planning.
The creation of dashboards that monitor what is happening across the city, as well as the generation of reports, including KPI monitoring and analysis.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a key EU program aimed at promoting growth, jobs, and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level.
In 2018, the FIWARE Context Broker became a CEF Building Block providing a standard mean for public administrations of EU member states as well as businesses to share data in right time.
In November 2018, the FIWARE Foundation and TM Forum, the global not-for-profit association focused on digital transformation, announced a joint collaboration programme to support the adoption of a reference architecture and compatible common data models that underpin a digital market of interoperable and replicable solutions for smart cities.
Open and Agile Smart Cities has the goal of creating and shaping the nascent global smart city data and services market. The initiative comprises more than 120 cities in 24 countries.
Within the OASC initiative, the FIWARE NGSI API is adopted as a first open license standard API targeted to provide the basic artifact for portability and interoperability of smart city solutions.