Providing Information in Context for Smarter Cities

Author photo: Larry O'Brien
By Larry O'Brien
ARC Report Abstract


Cities can’t be “smart” unless the right people are empowered to make good decisions.  Large networks of legacy systems, combined with new IoT-based sensors and systems, can make it challenging for smart cities to manage all these different data sources and turn the data into useful, actionable information.  However, providing common actionable context for data from those myriad sensors and systems creates many opportunities to improve performance, increase safety, reduce lifecycle cost, and improve citizens’ quality of life.

At the recent ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, several presenters shared successful case studies related to providing information in context for smart cities.  Key parts of the discussion included:

  • What constitutes a good information platform
  • How different islands of technology and functionality can be inte-grated successfully, and
  • How cities can get the right information into the hands of the people that need it

Avista and Urbanova Draw the Blueprint for Future Information Management

Curt Kirkeby of Avista Utilities, a major utility in the Pacific Northwest, spoke about his company’s involvement in the Urbanova smart cities initiative in Spokane, Washington. This activity is focused on the University District, a 770-acre area near downtown Spokane.

Urbanova Shared Information Platform for smart cities losmartc.JPG

Urbanova is designed to be a living laboratory for the design and evolution of smart cities.  Other partners in the project include the City of Spokane, Washington State University, Itron, and the University District of Spokane.  Urbanova’s goals are healthier citizens, safer neighborhoods, smart infrastructure, a more sustainable environment, and a stronger economy. 

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Keywords: Smart Cities, ARC Industry Forum, Smart Lighting, Information, Context, ARC Advisory Group.

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