Conference PaperPDF Available

A web platform for evaluating public policies in smart city initiatives

Authors:

Figures

Content may be subject to copyright.
2016 Brazilian Technology Symposium
ISSN 2447-8326. V.1. © 2016 BTSYM
A web platform for evaluating public policies
in smart city initiatives
Angela Maria Alves
Giovanni Moura de Holanda
Center for Information Technology Renato Archer - CTI
Campinas, Brazil
angela.alves@cti.gov.br
giovanni.holanda@cti.gov.br
Davi Carvalho da Silva Júnior
Foundation for Research Support in
Information Technology (FACTI)
Campinas, Brazil
davi.carvalho@facti.com.br
Abstract For urban planners and policy makers, the
sustainable development aimed for smart cities initiatives should
be supported by monitoring large amounts of data generated
continuously and by sources of varied nature. The evaluation of
programs and actions included in these initiatives has to deal
with such a dynamic and complex scenario. This paper aims at
presenting a web platform designed to support the evaluation of
public policies in multi-sector environments and it can be applied
for monitoring, assessment and planning in the governance
context of smart cities.
Keywords Smart cities, policy evaluation, public policies, web
platform
I. INTRODUCTION
The migration of people to urban areas, the continuous
increase in population density, the mobility challenges in large
cities, the need to optimize the consumption of natural
resources and reduce carbon emissions that affect the quality of
life have greatly exacerbated the problems of public
administration. The consensus rhetoric on the urgent need to
mitigate climate change, the pace of technological innovations,
the ICT diffusion through all social and productive sectors
create favorable conditions to become “more intelligent” cities,
by elevating them to a new management level and to higher
standards of community life.
The concept of smart city has gained form and despite the
fruitful debate on the establishment of a common view on this
matter, some definitions have been formulated in order to
congregate its main features. In accordance to the Group of the
European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and
Communities, for instance, “smart cities should be regarded as
systems of people interacting with and using flows of energy,
materials, services and financing to catalyse sustainable
economic development, resilience, and high quality of life” [1].
In turn, the ITU-T Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities
has developed the following definition
1
:
“A smart sustainable city is an innovative city that uses
information and communication technologies (ICTs) and other
1
Retrieved from <www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/focusgroups/ssc>. Access on
3/11/2016.
means to improve quality of life, efficiency of urban operation
and services, and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets
the needs of present and future generations with respect to
economic, social, environmental as well as cultural aspects”.
In summary, the basic idea behind the conception of smart
cities is the assumption that technologies are essential elements
to modernize the urban space, so that it is possible to meet the
new energy and urban infrastructure requirements, allowing to
improve the quality of life of its citizens.
Some solutions for smart cities have been progressively
deployed worldwide and, even though corresponding to
universal trends and formats, such solutions need to be adapted
to the cultural, environmental, political and socio-economic
characteristics of the location [2]. To a greater or lesser degree,
the solutions are based on the organizing rationality, the
creative intelligence, the extent of public policies, the
technological advances in general as well on the urban
connectivity infrastructure.
Large urban centers are increasingly considered as highly
complex systems, maintaining connections between their
multiple environments and individuals, hence the growing
importance of urban planning and dynamic decision-making
mechanisms [3]. According to these authors, the city become
intelligent as it can address its challenges in a comprehensive
manner and, moreover, there is often in the Latin America, “a
lack of understanding and knowledge in the public sector on
how to combine technology and management to improve
people's lives” [3].
In order to dynamically support decisions and evaluation
processes, it is necessary to develop infrastructure, common
architectures and monitoring platforms for smart city
information, making huge volume data available. Faced with
this context, as highlighted by Finguerut and Fernandes in [2],
the public managers of most Brazilian cities should face urban
renewal processes, among others, with the challenge of dealing
with their ability to build scenarios from the analysis of this
data volume.
Note that for urban planners and policy makers, sustainable
urban development is entirely dependent on data generated
continuously in large amounts and by sources of varied nature.
The management of an urban plan and its policies is an
2016 Brazilian Technology Symposium
ISSN 2447-8326. V.1. © 2016 BTSYM
ongoing and fundamental process to the achievement of the
stated objectives, and should be supported by monitoring
performance indicators, during policy evaluation as well as in
corrective actions or (re)planning efforts.
To the materialization of such purposes, some actions are
strongly necessary. ISO/IEC report of 2015 [4] lists a sort of
these actions, for instance:
The city should be instrumented to allow the
compilation of large amounts of data from different
sources;
The data should be presented in a variety of formats, in
function of the context and of the technical systems;
Statistical analyses and decision-making systems
should be used, in a manner that data and the
constructed knowledge might be used by public
administrators and policy makers.
This paper aims at presenting a web platform designed to
support the evaluation of public policies in multi-sector
environments, so that it can be applied for monitoring,
assessment and planning in the governance context of smart
cities.
II. DATA AND SUSTAINABLE URBAN PLANNING
The intelligent use of energy and natural resources of a city,
as well as the optimization of transport infrastructure, public
services and mobility management, among other needs, relies
heavily on sensors, media, connectivity level provided by the
internet and a wide variety of associated digital technologies.
Amongst such technologies there are:
Network access technologies (fiber, mobile, 4G, wifi,
etc.);
Sensor networks and internet of things (IoT),
interconnecting devices, systems and services;
Open data, adherent to public policies;
Big Data, regarding the collection, processing and
analyzing large volumes of data;
Geographic information system (GIS), to provide
location based services;
Service-oriented architecture (SOA) and microservice
approach, in order to provide application functionality
independent of vendors and technology standards.
It is clear that all this infrastructure generates a huge
volume of data and the interworking control of technological
networks within big cities, including in real-time, increases
further the amount of information that needs to be addressed.
Such information is comprised of structured and non-structured
data, generated by numerous sources and stored on different
servers and platforms, that need to suit the individual needs of
processing and transfer between systems.
To overcome such challenges, architectures and systems for
capturing and processing of big data have been developed to
combine not only innovative technologies of collection,
storage, curatorship, processing and data transfer, but also
methods and techniques that allow to extract value from data
and provide means for viewing the generated information.
In this sense, analytics has assumed a key role, in
descriptive, predictive and prescriptive terms, based on
quantitative approaches and statistical analyses, as well as on
explanatory and predictive models [5]. Thus, the combination
of methods in technological architectures, enabling to work in
this scenario, involves interface compatibility between different
patterns, dynamic storage systems and relational data
management, Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities, and other
technologies, which need to be brought together in integrated
platforms to support decisions of public managers of smart
cities and sustainable development initiatives.
III. A PLATFORM FOR COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATIONS
An integrated platform for monitoring and analysis,
structured with the purpose of supporting public administrators
and policy makers, is been designed under the activities of the
ICT Policy Instruments Lab (poli.TIC), of the Center for
Information Technology Renato Archer (CTI). The basic
architecture of this platform, denominated as POLITICSys, is
shown in Figure 1.
One assumption is that the data provided by this solution be
available for use in the cloud or locally hosted (on-premises),
with open source tools in the following layers and process:
Extraction, cleansing, reformatting and insertion into
storage mechanisms (Extract Transform Load - ETL);
Storage (Data Warehouse - DW);
Processing large volumes of data (Big Data);
Figure 1 POLITICSys’ general architecture
Source: Authors own elaboration
The authors are grateful to the Brazilian National Council for Scientific
and Technological Development (CNPq) for supporting part of this work.
2016 Brazilian Technology Symposium
ISSN 2447-8326. V.1. © 2016 BTSYM
Intelligence to support decisions (BI) and construction
of data views;
Declarative query language for relational databases
(Structured Query Language - SQL) and non-relational
databases (Not Only SQL - NoSQL) that support large
data amounts;
Besides open source, web based and lightweight data
visualization tools to build charts and dashboards.
By means of these charts and dashboards it is possible to
extract management information and track actions registered in
any system or smart platform of a city, provided it is integrated
into the POLITICSys. The charts and dashboards are generated
from BI practices, for example, mining, dimensional modeling,
processing and construction of various analytical views.
Another important characteristic of such a platform is the
alignment and compatibility with eventual demands for open
data by governmental institutions, which is making efforts in
this direction. In Brazil, an example in this direction is the
Action Plan for Implantation of INDA National Open Data
Infrastructure [6]-[7].
IV. FINAL REMARKS
Data and information generated in the POLITICSys
repository may eventually be made available for aggregation
and use in the various monitoring systems of public policies,
providing a comprehensive and multisectoral framework of
indicators. This framework may covers a large range of
indicators, from the efficient use of natural resources for
example, energy and fuel consumptions, smart grid operation,
water capture and demand , including mobility and data
generated in the urban security repository, up to the use of ICT
and actions for digital and social inclusion.
An integrated platform with these characteristics can help
public administrators and policy makers in the evaluation,
planning and management of smart cities, incorporating
solutions that can effectively contribute to save natural
resources, promote sustainable development and improve
quality of life of citizens.
REFERENCES
[1] European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities.
Strategic Implementation Plan. October 2013. Available at:
http://ec.europa.eu/eip/smartcities/files/sip_final_en.pdf. Access on:
3/11/2016.
[2] S. Finguerut, and J. M. Fernandes. Planning cities in the XXI century”,
Cadernos FGV Projetos Smart Cities and Urban Mobility, Year 10, no.
24, 2015, pp. 46-61. Available at: <http://www.fgv.br/fgvprojetos>.
Access on: 1/11/2016.
[3] M. Bouschela, M. Casseb, S. Bassi, C. De Luca, and M. Facchina,
Caminho para as Smart Cities: da Gestão Tradicional para a Cidade
Inteligente. Banco Interamericano de Desenvolvimento (BID), 2016.
[4] ISO/IEC JTC 1. Information Technology. Smart Cities. ISO/IEC,
2015.
[5] T. H. Davenport, and J. Kim, Keeping up with the quants: your guide to
understanding and using analytics. Boston: Harvard Business School
Press, 2013.
[6] Brasil. Ministério do Planejamento, Orçamento e Gestão. Manual para
Elaboração de Plano de Dados Abertos. Brasília: MP 2013. Available at:
<www.planejamento.gov.br>. Access on: 1/11/16.
[7] C. F. Silva, C. Vaz, E. M. F. Santos, R. Balaniuk, and M. C. Chaves,
Open Data: a strategy for increased public management transparency
and modernization”, Revista do TCU, Sep/Dec 2014.
Chapter
This paper aims at presenting an R&D view on how Data Science may be inter-related with smart city management, especially in terms of supporting predictive analyses. Trends on this fast-growing scenario are pointed out as well as some experiences and applications that the authors’ institution has built up or may come to develop.
Article
Full-text available
At a time when improving public management, promoting social participation and the meeting need to provide better public services are high on our agendas, the open government data policy is a key input for the construction and consolidation of open government. This new paradigm allows citizens to obtain information about government actions, thus enabling their active contribution to decision-making and improving the functioning of the State. The contemporary nature of the topic as well as the evolution of practices at the international level have motivated this article, which provides an overview of the concepts, characteristics and risks associated with open data. It also describes the international scene as regards the opening of government data, discusses some local initiatives, and presents the Brazilian regulatory framework on the matter.
Planning cities in the XXI century
  • S Finguerut
  • J M Fernandes
S. Finguerut, and J. M. Fernandes. "Planning cities in the XXI century", Cadernos FGV Projetos -Smart Cities and Urban Mobility, Year 10, no. 24, 2015, pp. 46-61. Available at: <http://www.fgv.br/fgvprojetos>. Access on: 1/11/2016.
Caminho para as Smart Cities: da Gestão Tradicional para a Cidade Inteligente
  • M Bouschela
  • M Casseb
  • S Bassi
  • C De Luca
  • M Facchina
M. Bouschela, M. Casseb, S. Bassi, C. De Luca, and M. Facchina, Caminho para as Smart Cities: da Gestão Tradicional para a Cidade Inteligente. Banco Interamericano de Desenvolvimento (BID), 2016.
Keeping up with the quants: your guide to understanding and using analytics
  • T H Davenport
  • J Kim
T. H. Davenport, and J. Kim, Keeping up with the quants: your guide to understanding and using analytics. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2013.
Manual para Elaboração de Plano de Dados Abertos
  • Brasil
  • Ministério Do Planejamento
  • Orçamento E Gestão
Brasil. Ministério do Planejamento, Orçamento e Gestão. Manual para Elaboração de Plano de Dados Abertos. Brasília: MP 2013. Available at: <www.planejamento.gov.br>. Access on: 1/11/16.