Smart Cities projects
As we develop our smart city road map we are supporting several demonstrator projects that will help test our ideas and build capacity. Some of these include:
Identifying rates income
We ran a successful Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition that identified machine-learning and other data analytics solutions to assist us and Land and Property Services to find sources of non-domestic rates income for the region.
Rates Revenue Forecasting
The information generated would support and enable longer term decision making and investment in the development and the regeneration of the city centre.
A City Growth Mapper
We are working with the Future Cities Catapult to develop a web-based tool to identify the capacity of major infrastructure systems across the city. Over time this is likely to include capacity details for energy, water and digital infrastructure.
This is likely to become an important resource for planners, developers and possible investors and is part of our commitment to making Belfast a place where it’s easy to do business.
We are working with See.Sense, BT, Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Bristol, and the Department of Infrastructure in a twelve month research and development project to deploy Internet of Things sensors on 200 Belfast Bikes.
The aim is to gather cumulative ‘big’ data to help improve the cycling experience by examining the routes taken, cycle safety, cycle terrain and to improve the security of the Belfast Bikes.
As part of the development of a wider data hub for the city, a city dashboard will be shared with the city’s partners to track changes on a number of statistical indicators. The community plan will have five or six outcomes for health, economy or sustainable development. Each of these outcomes will have a small number of trend indications.
This will be seen as phase one in the development of a wider Data Hub for the city.
Further information will be provided as the project progresses.
Phase one of the Belfast WiFi project is complete with WiFi in over 100 public buildings across the city. Phase two will see the free WiFi network being extended outdoors into the city centre and is due for completion by the end of August 2016. As part of its Superconnected Broadband project we have been working with partners to provide free WiFi to large areas of the city centre.
Generating open data
We are working with our colleagues in government to make government data available for citizens, SMEs and analysts, and to grow the number of machine readable data sets.
Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities
Belfast has been selected as one of only 100 cities throughout the world to join the 100 Resilient Cities Network, an initiative that was pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation in the USA.
Belfast is the only city in Ireland and one of only five in the UK – the others being London, Bristol, Glasgow and Greater Manchester – to have been selected.
Belfast was chosen from more than 325 applications on the basis of its willingness, ability and need to become resilient in the face of future challenges. Those challenges include major shocks and stresses, ageing infrastructure, cyber security and coastal flooding.
It means the city will now be part of a worldwide network of cities, including Washington, Paris, France, Rotterdam, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jakarta and Indonesia who will work together to share international experience on resilience solutions.
Belfast will receive grant funding to deploy a Commissioner for Resilience who will lead the citywide resilience building process and engage stakeholders from across the different sectors. Belfast will also receive technical support to develop a Resilience Strategy that reflects the city’s distinct needs and the support and services they need as they work towards implementation. It will give Belfast the tools to support a better city today, tomorrow and for future generations to come.