At the conference In The City in Saint-Petersburg Director for technology and innovation, University of Edinburgh the Yoke Eskelinen gave a lecture “the City plus business. How to systematically innovate”.
In it, he explained that the projects of ideal cities, Le Corbusier, Wright and Speer failed because they have not had the opportunity to register a good operating system. The examples of Helsinki and Belfast Yoke showed how it can be done today, developing platforms, programs and applications for citizens and municipalities. If to take care of a uniform Protocol interface — API, over the coming decades it will be possible to create “digital cities network”. To do this, now we have more data to provide open access, not to dig in planning, and to try innovative solutions, over and over again creating a “minimally viable product”, which then can be developed and adapted for each particular city.
The yoke Eskelinen, Director of technology at the University of Edinburgh. In the past, Director of innovation studios, London Future Cities Catapult.
Soon will start the real action
For a start I will say a few words about myself: I currently work at the University of Edinburgh, and we team up there’s innovation programs based on data. In August an agreement was signed by 1.3 billion pounds, thanks to which we now have funding. The project we started, the initiative is quite recent: fifty-five days I find myself at a new workplace. I urge you to follow us online, because soon will start the real action. We have a program for 10-15 years, 660 million pounds will be invested into innovation based on data. In particular, we have identified some of the innovation hubs, such industrial sector. We introduce a huge amount of collaborations — I’m seeing a huge number of people with whom I hope in future we will launch and maintain mutually beneficial initiatives based on data.
And at my previous place of work I’m in for ten years was in charge of forum Virium in Helsinki, as a few years I was in charge of the program “future Cities” Catapult. And this experience, these insights I will use that tonight. Less about Edinburgh, for 50 days I not so well know him, more about the city, which I did in a past life.
“City of dreams”, Le Corbusier, Wright and Speer
The dilemma megapolis smart: when you change cities, the oppose entropy. They, by default, fall into a state of unorganized chaos, and strive to this entropy every day. They are more like us living organisms than design. During the first wave of the emergence of smart cities is here-and it was made a huge mistake. People considered the city as a kind of machine that you can register operating system. But for the body, for the companies operating system does not exist. Certain pieces, probably, in the code you can invest, but that was it.
The fight against entropy contradicts the idea that cities can be smart. Smart city is not a new idea. We tried to solve the problems of the city several times in the past. A few recent examples: Le Corbusier, “La Cité radieuse” — the city of the sun, which never was built for Marseille. The legacy of this city — a certain high-rise building. We can argue whether this is good or bad in itself, but it is what is left. Frank Lloyd Wright hated Corbusier, wanted to combine the farm with the city, and offered Brodak city. He assumed that people will travel everywhere by car, that is, each will have its own farm, its own country, but will have to travel by private cars. Highways that America is the legacy Bredakra.
There were other architects, also created their own dream city. “Germany” was to be built in Berlin according to the project of albert Speer’s personal architect Hitler. How I love the Germans, initially the idea experienced. When they started to build these huge buildings, first put big concrete blocks to see what would happen. They immediately started to sink, because there is a swamp. And still these dreams are drowning, mired in a swamp. Not the most beautiful of Berlin’s architecture that surrounds it all.
In our days, plans for creating smart cities are not far away from utopian ideas. “Let’s get rid of cities,” — say the new pioneers. But, for example, a project to create a city of Masdar in Abu Dhabi also little left. Like the best, but it turned out as always. One quarter built, the project is 15 years behind schedule. Maybe someday this neighborhood will still grow, but still nothing remarkable there has not occurred.
A very good question to ask: why is this happening? Why these ideas do not acquire appropriate scale? This is due to the fact that people by nature love to fight. And the city also love to resist. Here Delhi, for example, thousands of years stood. And Rome, if the Roman Empire long ago collapsed, the cities are, they have survived all the plans, all the ideas. Any city pick: normally you will not see any of the completed or implemented plans. One after another, followed by attempts to introduce new ideas. When there are new projects, they block the previous, unfinished. This means that all our decisions must resist error and must pass the test of time. At some point in time, the idea of “Smart city 1.0” just collapsed on the wall of reality. The reality of such a city can never be, because he will not survive the test of time.
The growth of cities and pop-up technology
Cities are the most long-lasting achievement of the man and, without a doubt, a success story of mankind. 80 thousand of the population — Shenzhen — a few years has grown to several million. We can argue about how urbanization is a boon for mankind, but at least we can’t argue with the fact that the city can grow. And in any growth there are opportunities which we should seek. To restart we can’t, but once repaired, to reorient them — it is in our power. And we can make it so that they were more environmentally friendly from the point of view of economic and social development.
This legacy cities. It is clear that the cities many hundreds, and some thousands of years. Previously, nobody thought that the city needs to change, interact. But in the digital age they just have to somehow be combined. And, of course, if we’re talking about the market of innovation for urban solutions, this market is very fragmented. If you do some cool stuff in St. Petersburg, for example, and it is implemented in the Petersburg city system, not the fact that it can work even in a neighboring town. But if we had this platform, then it worked. About this I will speak later.
The point is that solutions are always adjusted to, bodies can be customized for the target geography, and this is the essence of the history of all decisions in all cities to develop local solutions for a small group of residents. These solutions are expensive and do not work anywhere else. How are we to overcome it? We have certain commercial companies that, in principle, cope with it. We’ve all got mobile phones? At all. Now, each of us uses the tool that helps us to change the city and urban life.
Here is an example from Helsinki — there is an event called “Restaurant idea”. The point is that anyone can open a restaurant one day. Initially it was this idea of civil disobedience, because the law in Helsinki is very difficult to open a restaurant. So the local guys decided open 50 restaurants at the same time that the police could not arrest everyone. In principle, this event, this idea was adopted by the city authorities. In the end hundreds and hundreds of these pop-up natural, spontaneous restaurants now popping up across the city twice a year. Someone from the citizens in it just looks and passes by, someone comes in to eat… the Main thing that it is, in fact, digital innovation. Because you can’t find the point where you can legally open a pop-up restaurant, if you do not have the correct application where these points are indicated. The interface of interaction with the city.
Digital technology, mobile phones are changing the way cities work. Now there is a huge network of coworking spaces, they are organized by “WeWork”. They collected four billion pounds of investment and quickly became the largest landlord of space in London, literally in the course of the year. Wherever you went around the world, if you go into “WeWork”, you can just use the app to log in and work no matter what city you are in.
Another example is a small application for mobile that helps you find the route from point a to point B in London. It interacts not only with digital but also with the physical area, use black taxis and Shuttle buses to fill gaps in public transport network of London. They are better representatives of the transport system of London know where at the moment you want to go, as this platform collects data from other platforms.
Two trends for platforms
However, it is such a very spot, narrowly focused solution in a large vertical. If we want to develop a platform-level city, in fact it is not the sort of thing that would work in all major Metropolitan areas.
Now there are two big trend in large-scale platforms that nourish the functions of the city. Either they are controlled by the state, as in China, where in the city of Shenzhen, Huawei provides the technical side of such a big decision. There is created and is being tested the state system of monitoring of citizens. Identifying or selecting just the face of someone who just crossed the street on the Zebra crossing, they track his movements around the city. Very impressive, to put it mildly, scary — to realize that you live in a city where you can follow at any time with the help of modern technology.
You can argue about how better to other solutions. Easier because we can allow Google to manage our cities, but they, too, may want to control you. Not as a state but as a company — because we don’t really need. The difference may be in the nuances: you control the government or any commercial, business company. Don’t know that in this situation it is better or worse. Anyway, someone is tracking you. Google Apps has launched a controversial project in Toronto, which really does create a “Smart city”. Let States that each user’s data confidential, but Google still has them and still somehow they looking. But the question is: is there some third version of this story? Is there any version of the city that does not operate as a monopoly in the hands of one powerful hand, whether the government or a private company? Can there be in such a ecosystem, which involves the interaction of small and large companies, where people themselves participate in the design and development of the city?
The transaction must be fair
By education I am an architect, and believe that decisions regarding a particular city should be taken by the people who live there. For example, the architect Jaime Lerner led in very good shape the Brazilian city of Curitiba with a population of 1.8 million people. Since the 1970-ies he was several times elected there by the mayor and held this post for over 12 years. Want to talk about two lines. First, it is important that the transaction was fair to the proposed system fairly reflected the balance between supply and demand on the market. The organization inside the city and the citizens were informed by partners that can conduct negotiations. In addition, should be observed a balance between the ways of city management from the bottom up and top down. Most cities fail to meet this ratio. Most often, the city is controlled by some big towers, but either way this kind of organic management on how smart the people in this tower. Most likely, these people are not the smartest. Anyway, the collective intelligence of citizens is much higher than the mind of the mayor. Therefore, the municipality should always try to use the potential of this collective intelligence to solve urban problems.
I looked at how differently it can be done. First, I want to mention a couple of challenges that must be addressed when we are faced with the long-existing cities, which make up the majority. When we want to make cities smart, we need to improve, renew, working with outdated elements that have persisted. But innovation will never be useful if you just blindly trust the new technology. You should also change its processes to change, how to develop the services and how they get to the final consumer. So when you try to upgrade, you have to understand that you have to change the whole organizational structure, and that it will not be easy.
Three calls for big cities
Metropolitan areas face three types of challenges. First, it is a challenge for all legacy systems that remained in the city. In new York 60 thousand yellow taxis. If you want to build a new urban system for the city, it’s probably not going to leave 60 thousand taxis, not being able to see where they are, or call them in advance. Because taxi just randomly drive around the city, and before new York there was no such practice to call them in advance. Uber blew up a little bit this system, taxi drivers are angry now struggling and they have a reason. Because their old system suddenly is sharply deteriorated. The city average are also provided with hundreds of IT systems and they are usually outdated. They also need to combine with each other, because usually they work separately, forming a complete mess.
Another challenge is a challenge of speed associated with such companies as Airbnb. Ten years ago it was not, and now is the largest network of tenancy in the world. They possess zero square meters of real estate. Of course, Airbnb has blown up the market rent in many places.
And the third call is a call to readiness. How cities ready to cope with the digital native revolution? Do they have the competence, knowledge about this?
I’m currently working with a Belfast to develop the main areas for building smart cities. We want to upgrade not only the city but also the competence of the municipality, which must be able to cope with the digital city.
Almost every city today is growing and evolving on the basis of pre-established development plan. It’s pretty rasprostranennaya activities, but most planners still don’t understand how to approach digital planning for them is difficult, is unclear. This is not to give this part of the work farmed out to contractors, these competencies should stay inside the city hall.
Openness as a competitive advantage
I want to mention five ways to deal with these challenges. Now we will discuss practical examples that are directly related to the idea of urban experiment. Because there are slow and fast ways to develop anything. The city still is developing through regulation and policy, they always have an important place. But I want to say that these regulations and policies before launching large-scale programmes have to go through a phase of local tests-experiments. Because if the city won’t do it, they will always lag behind commercial companies. And if you want your city was proactive, must be able to work as fast as commercial companies and startups that operate in the agile mode.
City hall should work in a mode of agile: iteration experiments, which then are translated into real programmes and actions. So, principle number one: openness as a competitive advantage. I don’t know how data about cities opened in Russia. Some cities have already opened the portals where the public available data about cities. I’m not idealistic approach to open data, I’m not some zealous their lawyer. I just think that this is the most pragmatic and fastest way in General to do anything.
Consider the example from London. In London a huge amount of open data is contained in a special data store, and we wanted to create for them an engine of prediction. To make a gamified interface business data town, which gives you the opportunity to become a virtual mayor. You can enter a series of questions or create your own. Then scientists specializing in the analysis of data platform, create a specific model. For example, you see what happens, if the city is 46 percent Bicycle or a certain percentage of electric vehicles. What needs to change to make this solution work?
“Project Catapult” is actively helping in the planning. They organized a great program entitled “the Future of urban planning” to digitize the design and make process planning and urban development replied to the urgent requirements in this area. A protest against global cities, many protested against this program, but it’s not that planning is something wrong. It just needs to technologically upgrade. Why? Explain. Because urban planning is now digitized on a very, very low. The level of the transition to digital-based construction is now somewhere between hotels, agriculture and hunting. That is, all of our planning system cities are very, very analog. It is no good does not. On average, the master plan of the city made 10 years. Over the years, the world is changing at lightning speed. (…)
It is not surprising that people are dissatisfied with the system of urban planning. When you start to analyze it, it turns out that it consists of a series of decisions literally at the level of “Yes” and “no”. If you are a programmer you understand that these “Yes” and “no” — simple digital units of the programming language. And most of the steps in this algorithm can greatly speed up the process by introducing the digital platform. Now several pilot projects are trying to create a planning system based on the data of the digital system. Within it you can enter basic data plan and almost immediately get an answer to the question of how viable this is in accordance with the current rules of urban development and planning norms.
Catapult now has developed such a test engine. You enter data into this system and trying to understand whether the extension of a district successfully adopted. No need to wait for three months, the response from the city Council or city hall to understand what to expect.
On a larger scale we want to harmonize how information is shared between cities in the UK and around the world. The platform prototype is called the Land Portfolio. The idea here is the same as in the pilot data warehouse of London, but this system for public transport. This system uses current data about public services, availability of land, public transport, about where the schools are located, and so on. And then you can, as a city planner, just in different vacant plots of land to throw their projects and immediately see what the result will be to have your project in the city. Will available land if we build here 20 thousand apartments, where will this lead? Which overload of the power network will cause such a project, what will happen to transport?
All the data about the city’s already inside. They, anyway, are used for planning. But before these evaluations took weeks. Now you can in real time to upload your project to configure the settings and see the “temperature map”: what are the problems, what results will cause your project, your building, based on the available data. There is nothing innovative, besides the fact that all these data are combined into a single comprehensive service. This platform can use developers, or architects, or city planners.
Need to collaborate with developers
So we’ve talked about what data should be public. Secondly, I believe that most intelligent people in the city usually don’t work at city hall. Just purely statistically. This means that there are a lot of intelligent resources which can be mobilized for the benefit of the work of the city hall. You need to work with developers who are in the city and are able to create digital solutions.
For example, the government of Mexico were going for a million dollars to buy a private American company application to decision making in Parliament. On hearing this, the hacker community in Mexico organized a contest with a prize Fund in 100 thousand pesos for the one who will make that decision faster. For five days they were able to do it. The app did the same thing and the solution for a million dollars, which tried to buy the government. The guy who started this contest, was invited to the Parliament. He thought, “Oh, my God, now I’ll shoot”. He came, and he was hired to work as the main local developer for the Mexican government. And he wrote the app for 10 thousand dollars. As I understand it, it works today. So, the developers know how to do something quickly and efficiently. (…)
Third paragraph: it is not necessary to assume, always best to test. It is now much easier to organize than before. For example, urban living labs are the way to experience many things. There are already pilot of this project in Southampton, an urban totem. Takes up one Parking space, which turned into a mini-Park, and set up a station that looks like a Billboard with sensors of air quality. In General, any sensors you can put there, because modular technology in this totem can be converted. It is possible to measure noise level, air pollution and even the number of flying bats, fun as it may sound. In Cambridge are now investigating this issue, look, what the city is home to bats, to show how serious their variety. At least, we said so.
What’s the idea of these totems? They can buy and operate any organization, in the examples of this was the administration of Southampton and University of Cambridge. The layer of data that they generate, — he shared. That is, the large number of totems owned by different organizations, the more data and the higher common good. That is a new way of performances of various devices, gauges, KPI in the city.
Also worth doing speculative design, to develop apps for cyclists, mothers with strollers and in General any of groups of the urban population. (…)
But when you start to delve into the involvement of users, you can face the fact that they have different motivation and need to start to delve into their needs in areas such as health and education. When you go deeper, you will realize that users are different: some of them participate in the life of the country or city, while others do not care. (…)
You and your peers often consider the person a little better, if he is involved in some initiatives. And now in light of the new digital economy, the network effect is taken into account much more. Result from programs in which residents participate, much higher than if they do not participate. Therefore, in order to attract them, should be a kind of promise coming from the city, such as: “Guys you are all leg it, and we get so-and-so.” That is, there must be real benefit for individual participants.
For example, if you want to get picked and featured on the educators in the kindergarten or the teachers at the school, from the very start is to explain what they will receive in the end, what will be the output. A certain sense of duty also must be a sense of obligation. But first segovian network effect. That is, you have to work with people, you need to lean, not to let someone. This is also necessary to speak. Well, the cost. Reduce them. Costs should be minimal, to make it easy to join, just to make time and just go and help.
The Example Of Helsinki: Smart Kalasatama
Give an example of their Helsinki: Smart Kalasatama. Sounds Japanese, although it is in Finnish. The so-called small district of Helsinki, which has a certain level of “smart” urban infrastructure: electrical network, transportation. Such a basic level, with the participation of residents in different urban programs at a very high level. There is a Quick experiment — a program for rapid prototyping and test some specific things, specific projects. How does it work? City, area release challenges — descriptions of problems with the reference, and make them open themed competition are invited companies, innovators. And then given the opportunity to pilot test one or the other thing, the pilot give the money. Many companies are very happy that they have a chance to ponadelat in the city centre. Hundreds of participants apply, and about a dozen projects being tested in fact. And the citizens then participated in the quality assessment of these initiatives.
Using different design methods, models. For example, to attract the participation of designers of various city services and different categories of users to assess such projects. Why? Because, as I said, users come in different colors, scents and sizes. Of course, invite experts from specific areas, key users. (…)
They can contribute their ideas and to contribute to the project. Ideas are discussed openly, this involved the testers, testers who can participate in experiments, and which can simply notify: “Guys, look what cool stuff there! So tell your friends!” This increases the visibility of the project, its resonance. It works so great that Helsinki has even published a “Cook book on urban projects”. And now in the six largest Finnish cities, this cook book is implemented, tested. (…)
Standards are cool
Fourth paragraph: one city is not a market. Now I will turn into a real geek, because I wish to speak about standards. I love the standards. Standards are great, standards it standards is sexy. Why? Because standards create markets that can interact with each other, and some things can easily be broadcast from city to city, thanks to standards. Program for the modernization of urban digital services in the UK called “cleaning the pipes”, if you want to keep the water flowing, the pipe needs to be cleaned. (…)
What are the city requirements? Affordable energy, clean air, transport, health, economic well-being. What do you give the standards? They talk about technologies and how to manage things, how to deal with the Internet of things, or data. However, it is the conjunction between these two things, if you are able to combine them through experiments, and will lead you to success.
We believe that the best way of “cleaning the pipes” is working when you are not trying to build any sort of deep system integration. I think ten years ago, ABM is particularly talked a lot about this, working with similar city projects, and stating that all should unite under one traditional system. Instead, we believe that there should be a minimum level of compatibility. Such comparability and compatibility of systems. That is, Moscow, St. Petersburg must be covered at a minimum. Why? Because it is fast, economically and safely.
Instead of having to build a common operating system for the whole country, build up some minimal points of contact or interaction between different services. You need to connect, to combine, to such interchangeability worked? Minimum set — IP-Protocol, if you want, just city. This distinguishes our thinking from the classical.
So, the project in which it happens. There is a European project SynchroniCity with a budget of 18 million euros, in which are arranged the minimum mechanisms of interaction between cities, after which they are tested in practice. Again, organized challenges. See, again the same challenges, companies need to develop services, to prepare and enhance these mechanisms. The idea here is this: we need to find urban solutions that can create a better life for citizens. It is such a Supreme goal for which we in General, all these mechanisms come up with.
The city is just very suitable for generating such compatibility tools, they are better able to do than the Federal government. City know how to implement things in practice. They collaborate, make something real even when the government only starts to think about it. City leaders are in the fight against climate change. They do more than any of the Federal national government. And their role will grow, because the city is the only part of the government infrastructure, which will naturally grow because the cities are growing. In their hands trasformational power.
Change is, in fact, the points of connection between different services. For example, it may be API. Know what it is? It is the Protocol of application interface, Application Protocol Interface. This so-called key method of access to the digital service. For example, Apple provides a set of API tools to develop applications. If, for example, the developer takes a set of APIs Apple and fold them into a single application, it is, of course, will run on iPhone smoothly and stably. Likewise, those elements of the engine, these APIs can be used in the city. With their help, for example, a transportation service needs to connect to the database that contains all data on the movement of transport through the API. And we have such API for storage systems, for a variety of digital stores and markets. And if the API in each city, respectively, of the system from city to city to work with each other will not.
We had an open competition SynchroniCity. Participate in eight European cities. They run pilot projects, this will continue for another two years. Three million euros were allocated to this project. We will try to make the global market of the Internet of things to from town to town he was working.
Protection of information
And I want to indicate the fifth, unexpected item: a question of protection of private information. This is know as an elephant in a China shop. We are talking about digitization. After all these negative discussions about how we correctly handle private data, now the people no longer trust the service providers that operate on the basis of personal information − Facebook, Google and so on.
Let’s look at this issue as an opportunity. I want this to complete their presentation. In Edinburgh I worked with the program which called the move “My data”, — MyData. And this movement seek to create a new approach to how to work with your digital identity. We want to give you the opportunity to have their sovereign digital identity that is not tied to any digital provider. It is an identity, a personality, a kind of ID, which the user can use, moving from one provider to another.
Imagine you have lots of services for social networking, a lot of passwords and your identity of individuals in all of these digital services. And you never read properly all the work, agree to all their terms, that is written in small print, click “Yes, Yes, Yes.” Your password I gave you and he was like, and after this I already don’t remember. So my data I some random vendors, services gave. Everyone got a and never… Anyone ever read these conditions of provision of information? Anyone ever read? Raise your hand if someone has read? I see you laughing. And, that’s what you read? Well done! Well, what if instead we could create a model that is not a crazy mess, and it does not belong to one of some powerful terrible organization. Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook want to. Each of them wants to be a great vendor, even Amazon, and he is now included in the health care industry. You and your data is their asset. There GDPR, the European long law regulating private information. But, you know, the law is not the most fast-acting tool.
What if, instead, you’d have the tools with which you are in control of your data? That’s the idea of the movement “My data”, MyData. How does it work? I’m individual, I’m here. Data divorced from my identity. So someone can have my data. But another man has nothing to do with them if I personally do not give their permission. The idea of “My data” is that I, the user, operator MyData. I may be, I want to give someone your data, why not? But, perhaps, just not a terrible Corporation. Then I give the identity of the holders of my data. They keep them, but they do not own. And this may radically differ, depending on what service provider I work for.
I can decide to transfer your data from vendor A to vendor B, and they will work the same regardless of whose services I use. We believe that it should be private data. That is, people personally have to give permission to use their data to those or other outside service providers. That is their identity, we confirm that our data and then we can provide the service.
MyData is a global open movement. A couple of weeks ago in Barcelona was the first meeting on the basis of the initiative. Already with us in partnership are more than 100 countries. It’s a massive story. I’m not sure Russia is participating in the program. Likely involved, check for yourself, I’m sorry, I didn’t. And we now have a truly unique opportunity for this situation to establish once and for all. I don’t think the Chinese model for us, where, for example, our identity is owned by the government. And we don’t fit the American model, where our digital identity is our digital identity belongs to some terrible Corporation.
We have to do to own your digital identity, your digital ID, and then give it permission to use our personal data to certain services.
A short summary
So, again briefly summarize how to make a smart city for people. First, let us understand that openness is simply a competitive advantage. There is a reasonable the point is to work with open data, working with open solutions. This leads to a more rapid interaction platforms, and all stakeholders in any system.
Next. Do not function within a closed organization, so the municipality must use the talent of a local community, find there developers, co-creators and helpers. Third paragraph: don’t need to dig in planning. Try, conduct small experiments, take IVS — minimum viable product. Work in collaboration with other companies, it will help you to create a solution, which can then be expanded to the entire city.
Next, one city is not a market, not a single market. Our market is wider. We must build solutions in a digital world that use similar components API in various cities. Thus we will ensure the compatibility of cities, and moreover, the costs of creating solutions to specific cities will be divided among all cities if decisions are compatible with each other. Thus is formed the digital network of cities.
And, fifth, let’s take care of our private data. Let’s not give them on the cheap. Thank you very much.
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