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Madrid, Spain Launches IBM Smarter Cities Project

IBM Smarter Cities

The City of Madrid, Spain has announced the signing of an agreement aimed at improving the lives of its 3 million citizens. This environmental services management project, signed with INSA around IBM's Smarter Cities technology, is supposed to improve the quality and efficiency of city services and provide citizens with new tools to interact and communicate with the municipal offices. The agreement, estimated at 14.7 million euros, takes advantage of Big Data and analytics in order to transform the management model currently in use by municipal service providers, who will be managed and compensated according to their level of service, with the goal of improving the management of public services, such as road maintenance, lighting, irrigation, trees and green spaces, but also the clearing and management of garbage and waste.

Madrid, which is one of the five most populous municipal areas in Europe, produces 1 million tonnes of household waste, while its residents use around 15 million cubic meters of water each year. The city manages and looks after numerous assets: among them are 1.7 million vehicles, more than 252,000 lamp posts and 287,000 trees. Thanks to INSA, the city will be able to measure with accuracy the quality and efficiency of each provider and service. The inspection agents will be able to evaluate more than 300 key performance indicators during their 1,500 daily inspections.

Madrid, Spain

Madrid is beginning to use an innovative technology platform called Intelligent Madrid (MiNT) that allows for improving the quality of services, communication with citizens, problem anticipation, and the coordination of resources. By using their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, as well as social media, citizens will have the ability to communicate instantaneously with their local municipal office in case of a problem, to receive an immediate response, and track an event or the aftermath of an incident. For example, if a tree falls and blocks a road, or if a fire hydrant leaks, a citizen can quickly upload a photo and location in order to alert the public authorities, who will be more efficient in resolving the identified problem and keeping the citizens informed until it has been resolved.

"This project could serve as an example for other European capitals, which would have the ability to follow the model of Madrid, the first to adopt a global integration of its public services," said Marta Martinez, general director of IBM Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel. The platform will integrate information supplied by the citizens, coupled with other data provided by sensors, devices in the city, and cameras too. This product will also analyze data provided by the inspecting agents and service providers, as well as the data on the management of human resources, task planning, and GIS systems for viewing all of the city services together.

In this way, Madrid will make use of real time updates from different processes, services, organisms and providers involved in environmental management, allowing it to respond to citizen needs more quickly and more efficiently.

MiNT will be built on IBM Intelligent Operations and IBM Maximo, which will manage the inventory of the more than 5 million assets – from swing sets in parks to traffic cameras – as well as contracts of service providers.

Where is the balance between centralized public services and citizen-based engagement? Should these platforms be opened to individual app developers or should the government always regulate them?

Original article, originally published in French, here.

Credits: Data and images linked to sources.