Big Data and Smart City Consortia

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Jiri Skopek


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Jiri Skopek
Energy and Sustainability


As 21 century cities provide a fertile market for the corporate sector,  there will be a race for large companies to stake their position. This is taking place through their participation in consortia with large universities and city administrations. One of the largest of such partnerships is the AMS (Amsterdam Institute for Advance Metropolitan Solution), which includes industry heavies such as CISCO, Accenture and IBM,  the City of Amsterdam, MIT and other universities. Their common objective is to engineer solutions to urban challenges such as food security, mobility and logistics, energy, water and waste management and public health.

In a smart city consortium, city administration, academia and big business each have a role: The city administration provides big data; academia  analyzes the data; and big business pays for the big data to be analyzed and then uses the data to sell its goods and services to the city administration. This is a win-win strategy where everybody benefits.

Smart City Consortia may provide a powerful business approach to solving the world’s urban challenges. However such top down solutions will not be successful without a grass root acceptance. Grass root, bottom-up, community approach may better priories what solutions are more appropriate in  particular locations or  situations.  The combination of the two approaches may provide a hope for the stricken planet.

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