“Cities are turning into vast data factories”

The Economist magazine has identified that cities are “turning into vast data factories” as the smart city moves from concept to reality. And CitySDK has been identified by them as a project that is key to this opening up of data. Read the full article here.

This reinvention of the industrial city for a post-industrial age is one that those of us who have lived and worked in cities have long realised – with the old industries dying out, the factories and mills have been transformed in places like Manchester into new living and work spaces. In the Northern Quarter in Manchester, what once housed much of the city’s textile companies are now home to many types of creative and digital businesses – and just outside the city centre The Sharp Project has transformed what was an distribution warehouse for Japanese electronic giant Sharp, into a new space for digital businesses, film production and data warehousing.

The Economist article makes the case that it is not just about new infrastructure but about data itself and how citizens and businesses can both generate and use the city data to create new services.

“Many governments and cities are encouraging this by making public data available. The European Union is sponsoring a project called CitySDK, involving eight cities from Manchester to Istanbul, to give developers data and tools to create digital urban services. One pilot, in Helsinki, is meant to make it easier for citizens to report problems. Another, in Amsterdam, will use real-time traffic data to allow people to find the best way around town and avoid traffic jams. A third, in Lisbon, will guide tourists.”

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