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A thrilling world of solutions for our city awaits us.

Tax incentives... and what else?

We began the year with the news of the election by Amazon of the 20 cities that are finalists to locate its second corporate headquarters HQ2 in North America. On this path, 4 months to review 238 nominations. The prize: the intention to create 50,000 jobs and invest 5,000 million dollars in the community.

Locate a large multinational, host a global sporting Championship or building a Museum of international repute are events with a capacity to transform a city and its surroundings, but the real transformation occurs before or after?

It is no longer just a question of offering tax incentives - a situation that has been recently sanctioned by the European Commission, for example Luxembourg's fiscal aid precisely to Amazon - but also that this proposition of value of the city must meet multiple dimensions to be recognized as a city of excellence with its citizens and tourists in the center of the project.

In this sense, leading by example, Amazon valued in addition that the city had locations for its complex and space to grow, talent and ease of life in the form of universities, affordable housing and public transport as well as an excellent physical and digital connectivity through highways, airports and better communications and internet networks.

The potential for growth of these events is undeniable even if there is a necessary previous process of transformation or evolution according to which point and location of the city on the basis of a profound reflection on which League you can and want to play in: major international events, congresses, Sun and beach tourism, etc.

Smart Cities

Designing your city: one eye on the ground and another on the horizon

In this global context, a good public official should be able to identify the market niche that the city it serves can point to while serving the needs of its citizens and tourists. Therefore it is vital to have a progressive improvement of the public services and the relationship with its citizens more than the regular call to the polls.

Fortunately, the current digital revolution allows you to leverage the new possibilities provided by the new technological framework and to go beyond the already traditional electronic office administration and transform the public services used at street level on a daily basis by citizens and tourists, in dimensions such as:

1 mobility and public transport: a dimension of services with direct benefits both for the citizenship and the environment and for the optimization of costs of the public administration, emphasizing:

  • Speeding up time on buses by paying through city cards or other devices such as mobile phones.
  • Reduce the time of arrival to destination by using automated traffic light prioritisation of movement of buses at roundabouts.
  • Improve traffic congestion by means of solutions in orientation towards free parking spaces and implementation of bicycle loan systems that promote an alternative mobility.
  • Reduce pollution by implementing transport systems on demand and driver analysis systems for greater efficiency on the drivers’ part.

2. Maintenance of the urban environment: dimension of services focused on an efficient functioning of the elements of our urban environment where investment in technology can allow significant savings:

  • Minimize the cost of street and urban lighting through more efficient technologies adapting lighting at all times to  the transit of people and cars.
  • Reduce the cost of maintenance of parks and gardens thanks to the introduction of humidity sensors and other environmental devices by optimizing the assignment of operators or the schedule of the automatic irrigation systems.
  • Decrease the spending on the provision of the water service by early detection of leaks in the supply network.
  • Reduce the expenditure on waste management by optimizing the routes of trucks according to the situation of the roads and the quantity of waste in containers and bins.
  • Lower overall expenditure on maintenance of the IoT elements through remote monitoring.

3. Tourism: this dimension is made up of a series of services aimed at improving the tourists stay in the city, and its accessibility to services and products of the region:

  • Promote the dissemination of tourism according to the preferences of tourists through digital platforms by way of tourist offices and digital marketing-oriented through real-time services in the region.
  • Improve the enjoyment of beaches with a wide range of services from improving security and access to them through cameras or other technologies, to control schedules and the acoustic impact of events on the beaches through noise sensors for better comfort in nearby accommodation.

4 Planning and asset management: a set of services focused on optimizing the administrative management and maintenance of public resources, highlighting:

  • Making transparent the planning of the city through the digitization and systematization of urban planning and it’s publishing online, also facilitating the operation of the municipal technicians.
  • Optimizing the management of public assets through the implementation of geographic information systems (GIS), spatial data (IDE) or technologies such as LIDAR Mapping.
  • Reduce spending on the maintenance of public buildings by energy efficiency monitoring control systems such as lighting or air conditioning.
  • Facilitate the management of municipal technicians by implementing municipal dashboards.

5. Relationship with the citizen: regardless of the League in which they play, the citizen will always be there, judging the management of the authorities with their vote. For this reason, and for the source of information that is so relevant, there is a set of services with a very important social return, highlighting:

  • Increase two-way communication and integration of the citizens in the taking of certain decisions by platforms of citizen participation or CRM solutions.
  • To provide information or the execution of specific procedures using advanced virtual omni-channel assistants
  • Integrate citizens into the operations of certain urban services through mobile applications that allow, for example, the reporting of damage to the road, street lights or other elements of the surroundings.
  • Promote transparency in public management and the entrepreneurial spirit through open data platforms from which data can be used to design and develop applications for the community.

The role of technology

Needless to say that technology is the means and that, if properly defined the purpose, it will certainly contribute to its achievement. This mention stresses the relevance of the initial reflection in which League we want to and can play, and where are we at this moment. The technology will not be a problem if we are clear on the above.

A thrilling world of solutions for our city awaits us from the implementation of smart integrated systems to the most advanced data analysis platforms, always thinking in the usability, mobility and to be able to access information from any point, also guaranteeing the maximum protection of the data of our city and citizens with the best solutions in cyber security.

The experience of Altia in smart city projects and in the areas of knowledge together with a network of expert partners in certain services, position us as your strategic partner to address this exciting challenge.

Rubén Ruiz, Key Account Manager.