The road to the smart city is paved with open data

We are huge believers in the smart city movement. But in order to remain innovative in the face of a changing world, cities need to embrace open architecture and data. That’s because in order to innovate, cities need the power to choose solutions that fit their infrastructure best, and an open smart city strategy allows them to do just that.

For instance, a smart city foundation built on an open architecture is music to a developer’s ears. Open architecture allows the developer ecosystem to access the information they need to create innovative solutions to age-old infrastructure problems. Issues traditionally left to expensive, proprietary vendors can now be solved with the well-trained clicks of a keyboard.

“The more minds dedicated to solving problems, the more likely we are to discover solutions that cater to all citizens, living in cities of all sizes.”

Solve old problems in new ways

Imagine if police had the ability to quickly and easily scan video footage of a specific intersection after a hit-and-run. An app like this could save valuable time in an investigation, increasing public safety. Or, picture an app that tells you what speed to drive to help minimize stops. Cities could cut down on driver frustration, resulting in safer roadways for drivers and pedestrians.

Another solution could help visually-impaired pedestrians safely cross the street. Citizens who download the app would receive audible directions from their smartphone, letting them know when it’s safe to cross an intersection, or hear how many seconds they have left to safely cross the street.

Solutions like these not only increase citizen safety, they also save cities money they would have spent on similar – yet costly – hardware-based solutions.

Ideas within reach

These aren’t just ideas off the top of our heads. We’ve actually developed these apps here at Miovision in just two weeks, using the Miovision Open API and just one ambitious student developer. If a single developer can create three smart city apps in such a short amount of time, imagine what could come out of a team of eager developers, or a city-sponsored hackathon designed to improve your smart city.

The more minds dedicated to solving problems, the more likely we are to discover solutions that cater to all citizens, living in cities of all sizes. We actively encourage cities to embrace the notion of open architecture. Many cities around the world are beginning to see the value in open smart city infrastructure, and are organizing city-wide hackathons to encourage developers to create solutions to help further their smart city visions. Where does your city stand?