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The Amsterdam Economic Board, the Barcelona City Council, and the San Francisco Department of Planning and Department of the Environment jointly announced their strategic partnership with Cityzenith

This three-city collaboration is the first time that leading "smart cities" have joined forces to establish a common platform for using and sharing city data within and between cities and their citizens


The global financial crisis of 2008 had a significant impact on cities around the world in the years that immediately followed the global financial meltdown of 2008, as municipalities witnessed support from federal governments either wane or disappear. Left to resolve their own issues without federal resources, as the dust cleared cities responded by developing strategies to empower themselves, enacting policy improvements and deploying technology solutions to make cities more efficient, sustainable, and economically independent. As a direct consequence, over the last few years, smart city projects have kicked off all over the world, providing much needed innovations to cities in the areas of energy management, public safety, infrastructure, transportation, education, healthcare, entertainment, citizen engagement, et. al., and today, the Smart City market presses forward growing at 30% annually, expecting to top $57 billion by year 2015.

Today, cities around the world are in various stages of deployment of hundreds of ICT-focused smart city projects, and while many of those projects are pilots, it has led to a more informed, broad discussion about the future of smart cities, focusing on the use of Big Data in cities, and the tools and systems that tie people, places, and things together in an emerging Internet of Things. The growth in smart city services and solutions in recent months has given rise to an explosion of data in cities, data from sensors, web portals, M2M devices, mobile devices, etc. 90% of which is unstructured and hence virtually unused or underused. As a benchmark, cities now generate 4.1 terabytes of data per day per square kilometer of urbanized land area, and will increase output by 40% per year through 2020. Yet despite the growth in the number and quantum of smart city data sources globally, the market still lacks common platform tools for using that data, for consolidating, visualizing, analyzing, optimizing, and ultimately sharing city data.

The resulting fragmentation in the market and the players who both serve and guide it has led to an onslaught of custom solutions, isolated oases of innovation, and uneven growth and reporting, making the development and distribution of productized, scalable Smart City solutions and policies a challenge for stakeholders who seek standardization and predictability. Recent solutions in the market emphasize delivering solutions that optimize parking, energy management, and engagement with citizens, but discussions around standards remain in their infancy, save the efforts to establish standards for sustainability and GHG emissions reductions developed by global city networks such as the C40 Cities Group, the City Protocol, and the World Bank/WRI GHG Protocol. However, without a comprehensive, scalable, extensible data management platform which is accessible to all, intuitive, and easy to use, city stakeholders, therefore, have sought manual workarounds or built place-specific apps to deal with the patchwork of legacy software and systems that have made information monitoring, management, and sharing within and between cities and their stakeholders nearly impossible. In short, the smart city market cannot meaningfully evolve without a comprehensive, holistic Big Data platform that provides a framework for urban innovation leveraging standards to deliver value at a large scale.

Cityzenith’s 5D Smart City™ platform was created to fill this void. The product’s non-proprietary, open source platform technology makes complex city data simple, intuitive, and straightforward, and is designed to enhance the visibility, accessibility, and utility of urban data. Cities are already some of the biggest sources of “Big Data,” but much of it is uncollected, unused, or misunderstood due to the limits of existing systems. For all the promise of smart cities, the lack of a secure, scalable, and open platform has hindered efforts to realize them. Cityzenith’s 5D SMART City™, with its user-friendly 3D Web browser for the city — developed by one of the principal creators of Google Earth™— provides that long-awaited platform. It has been specifically designed to connect, collect, and access a diverse cross-section of city data sources from an easy-to-use, single point-of-view. If the third dimension is space and the fourth is real-time, then the fifth captures and analyzes the data measuring the ever-changing relationship between the two. Cityzenith’s 5D SMART City™ and SMART Apps™ makes such information available anytime, anywhere, to everyone.

5D SMART City™ is built on modern Web 2.0 technologies, and is readily deployed in the Cloud or behind a firewall. Using open standards throughout, its browser-based 3D client is rendered through HTML5, while the underlying visualization layer is with most 2D and 3D modelling environments via an open standard file format. The information repository providing the platform's flexibility, extensibility and scalability is also based on open standard formats, namely XML. And connecting to city's subsystems for real-time data collection is accomplished through a set of Javascript, REST, and AJAX APIs called 5D SMART Apps™ that insulate developers from the complexity of legacy systems, allowing them to focus on the overall user experience, and making collaboration between stakeholders intuitive and easy.

5D SMART Apps™ offer stakeholders new tools to streamline operations and to borrow best practices from partners around the world. Citizens have the opportunity to improve the public places where they live, work and play however they see fit. These apps, which sit on the core 5D SMART City™ platform, enable users to visually access a vast array of up-to-the-second data sources (i.e. reports, buildings’ energy usage, photos, video, RSS feeds, Tweets, etc.), and use it in new and imaginative ways. Examples include tracking greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, construction and infrastructure monitoring, traffic and parking optimization, sensor data consolidation, public safety alerts, and entertainment, healthcare, and education.

On November 18th, 2013, the Amsterdam Economic Board, the Barcelona City Council, and the San Francisco Department of Planning and Department of the Environment jointly announced their strategic partnership with Cityzenith to develop and launch 5D SMART City, a collaboration that will transform the collection, visualization, analysis, and management of city data.

This three-city collaboration is the first time leading "smart cities" have joined forces to establish a common platform for using and sharing city data within and between cities and their citizens. The initiative, which many other major cities are in talks to adopt, will eventually transform how cities are managed. It will also create new opportunities for participation and engagement in local civics, as well as making data freely available for citizens to use through their mobile devices.

The initial phases of the project will further develop the platform’s capabilities to:

• Improve collaboration between city agencies;
• Collect more and better data for greater sustainability and efficiency;
• Encourage the creation of city- and citizen-led applications to enhance engagement with citizens, governments, and business alike; and,
• Share best practices between partner cities.

Manel Sanroma, Chief Information Officer of the Barcelona City Council, offered his perspective on the development of a standards-based collaboration platform for cities. “Cityzenith’s unique 5D platform will form an important component of our Situation Room solution, and will make sharing information and experience within and between cities easier and more effective. We look forward to collaborating with San Francisco and Amsterdam, two of the most progressive global cities, to make this ambitious dream a reality, and welcome cities from around the world to join our mission.”

Ger Baron, IT Program and Cluster Manager at Amsterdam Economic Board, added his views. “In Amsterdam we have been working very intensively on Open Data for the last few years. Now it is time for the next step, a step that we want to take with a couple of the leading cities in the world and our ambition is to help set a standard for smart city collaboration. The aspiration is to enable citizens, entrepreneurs and visitors to make use of data which Amsterdam and our partners generate and maintain, because knowledge sharing and an open approach to public services is at the very core of the Amsterdam Economic Board and our Smart City program. With Cityzenith as our technology partner we are confident we can achieve our goals and enable collaboration with San Francisco and Barcelona.”

Melanie Nutter, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment, “Data has power to inform, to motivate and to accelerate the realization of San Francisco’s goals for greenhouse gas emission reduction from the built environment. Data is also essential to catalyzing development of neighborhood scale greening through Ecodistricts, where the public and private sectors set and meet common goals. Engaging with our counterparts in cities around the world – through the Cityzenith platform and development of mobile applications – is an opportunity to pool resources and best practices, as we harness data in service to sustainability and accessibility to the public.”

Cityzenith is excited to partner with three of the world’s smartest cities to offer a solution that has never before been offered, but which every city needs, and usher in the next wave of evolution in the smart city industry, the movement towards a common, standards-based data platform open to all people who live, work, and play in cities. The world over, cities have been searching for a way to empower their communities to understand and interface with the rich data in their cities, and now they have one, a platform of platforms that democratizes city data for city users to access in real time at their convenience, when they need it the most. We look forward to welcoming new partner cities from across the globe in the months to come.


Architect, urbanist and entrepreneur

Michael JansenMichael Jansen is a sought-after Smart City industry leader and public speaker with numerous awards and accolades to his credit, and has been featured on CNN, CNBC, and myriads of business, technology, and AEC publications worldwide, including Cities Today, Architectural Record, ENR, Business Week, Domus, Contract Magazine, et. al. In 2007, Michael was awarded Building Design + Construction Magazine’s prestigious “40 Under 40” award honoring top CEO’s in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry under the age of 40. As Chief Executive of Cityzenith, he earned the praise of Realcomm in 2011, which honored 5D SMART City™ as the “Top New Technology of 2011 in the Real Estate Industry”. More recently in November, 2013, Michael accepted an award on behalf of Cityzenith at the World Smart Cities Awards in Barcelona, which nominated 5D SMART City™ as a finalist in the Innovative Initiative category.

An impassioned architect, urbanist, and entrepreneur, Michael founded his first tech services company, Satellier, in 2004, a CAD and BIM production services company backed by Sequoia Capital. Under his leadership, in just four years Satellier experienced explosive growth from a team size of 10 to over 450, fundamentally changing the way the AEC firms use technology to deliver services. In 2010, Michael assumed the helm of Cityzenith to pursue his dream of transforming life in cities all over the world.

Michael was educated as an architect at Yale and Cambridge; earned a Fulbright scholarship; studied art and architecture in China and India; speak four languages and has traveled to more than 80 countries; design high-end, exotic furniture; and is an avid guitar player.

 

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