Services for innovative urban systems
Smart Urban Services pilot project gets under way in Chemnitz and Reutlingen
May 5, 2015
How can smart services help to create connected city systems for the city of the future? The Smart Urban Services pilot project “Data-based service platform for tomorrow’s urban value-added networks” aims to identify the areas of most potential and develop a platform that profitably connects the various subsystems of a city.
The organic waste recycling depot in Reutlingen is full. A sensor captures this information and reports it immediately to a data platform. Ten minutes ago, the platform received a message from the new biogas plant reporting an urgent need for new supplies of biomass. Perfect timing – a truckload of biomass will be shortly sent on its way. This isn’t science fiction – these kinds of smart urban services will soon make it possible to create networks linking previously unconnected urban infrastructures and subsystems, thus improving their cost-efficiency and consequently the quality of life for city dwellers.
Smart services as the basis for the city of tomorrow
“It has become increasingly important for cities to organize their value-added systems as flexibly, effectively and efficiently as possible, because they have to compete on an international scale to attract new companies and qualified employees,” explains Inka Woyke, head of the Service Management team at Fraunhofer IAO. She is responsible for managing the Smart Urban Services pilot project “Data-based service platform for tomorrow’s urban value-added networks” in which Fraunhofer IAO is collaborating with other research partners and selected urban authorities. Its aim is to study the ways in which new, intelligent online services could help to create connected city systems and establish a basis for an integrated approach to value-added urban networks. According to the project partners, this domain offers the greatest potential for future innovation and synergy effects in order to actively create a sustainable and worth-living city.
Integrated platform connects different urban subsystems
The project partners intend to identify new approaches to value creation and service innovation in concepts for the city of tomorrow and test their viability in pilot projects. In the areas that show most promise, smart urban services will be developed and their benefits in terms of employment and social development will be investigated. In Reutlingen, one of the two selected German cities (the other is Chemnitz), the areas in question include utility supply and waste disposal networks and traffic management.
To set up the smart services, a platform is being designed to link together the various subsystems and the urban authorities that operate them, which will be implemented as a prototype. This value-added network can also be used by local communities, companies and residents. The integrated platform consists of a physical sensor infrastructure, a data and a services platform. The system brings communication between the organic waste recycling depot and the biogas plant a big step closer to reality.
The Smart Urban Services project is managed by a consortium led by Fraunhofer IAO that includes the Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart, Input Consulting GmbH, and the cities of Chemnitz and Reutlingen. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and coordinated by the Project Management Agency of the German Aerospace Center (DLR).