SMART CITY STRATEGY The smart and digital city strategy and policies date back to 2004, when the Municipality of Porto (MP) created the Porto Digital Association (PD), a private non-profit association, aiming at creating and promoting ICT projects within the context of the city. In 2014, the municipality proposed a broader and more ambitious strategy. This new strategy aims at developing citizen driven services with high impact in increasing the city attractiveness for entrepreneurs, reducing social exclusion and increasing the city sustainability. The municipality strong commitment in this new strategy and the results already achieved are being fundamental to attract new players from the ecosystem. Porto aims at becoming a true living lab, a catalyst of innovation, which works in a close cooperation with the academia, along with reference entrepreneurs from Porto’s vibrant innovative businesses ecosystem. The main priorities are to use ICT, sensing, communications and data to improve municipal services and urban processes; combine data on the municipal level (across all departments) and subsidiary institutions to enhance transparency and efficiency; invest into organizational development in order to better manage a smart and digital city across the responsible units; and to use an intelligent and integrated approach to create entrepreneurship and ICT focused companies. CITY CHALLENGES Among others, the Municipality of Porto has the following short-term challenges in the areas of technology, economy and service provision:
- The main technological priorities are related to data, communications, and sensing. In the data layer, the goal is to create the conditions for an informed decision making at several organizations linked to the city management and to provide open data to the community. In the communications layer, the goal is to update, upgrade and expand the existing infrastructures and to deploy a new infrastructure for IoT devices. In the sensing layer, the goal is to equip the city with a large set of sensors that provide valuable data, in particular in the areas of environment and mobility.
- The economic priorities are related to the support to innovation and entrepreneurship (with the aim of boosting the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and promoting open innovation and the cross-fertilization of ideas between city stakeholders), attraction of foreign and domestic investment, retention and attraction of human resources, and job creation.
- The city is also focused on providing new and value-added services to the citizens, visitors and tourists, where data and technology play an important role, as enablers of informed decision making and facilitators of the citizens’ and companies’ lives
CONTRIBUTIONS OF IOT SOLUTIONS TO SOLVE THE CITY CHALLENGES An Urban Platform that collects and analyzes mobility, environment, energy, waste and civil protection data, will increase the city management and service provision intelligence and efficiency. An Open Data Platform that provides datasets of several public organizations will increase transparency and enable the community to add value. The expansion of the metropolitan optical fiber network will enable the city to provide additional services, such as, connecting all the existing traffic light controllers in the city, expanding the public access Wi-Fi network, and connecting additional buildings and sensing or communications infrastructures. A Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) will provide low-bandwidth and long range connectivity to IoT devices at a city scale. A network of ‘beacons’ made of active and passive contactless tags, will provide contextualized information in the areas of mobility and tourism to inhabitants, visitors and tourists. An environmental sensor network (ESN), made of sensors that measure meteorological parameters, air pollutants and noise, will enable the city to act accordingly, in a reactive and/or preventive way, in order to minimize negative impacts. Trash bin sensors that monitor fill levels will increase the efficiency of trash collection. Traffic and pedestrian sensors will enable the city to design data-driven mobility plans and policies. RELEVANCE FOR THE CITIZENS The deployment and upgrade of the data, communications and sensing infrastructures create the conditions for an informed (data based) decision making by the city authorities and also by the citizens. Rich data enables the city’s services to work more efficiently and in a predictive way, which results in a direct benefit to the citizens. The availability of open data enables citizens and companies to add value to this data, by offering new services and solutions that increase the citizens’ quality of life, and the efficiency of the city services. The city has also been working with the citizens and other local actors, with the aim of boosting the entrepreneurship ecosystem and promoting open innovation and the cross-fertilization of ideas between city stakeholders. The dematerialization of processes enables the city to provide e-government services to the citizens, with the aim to reducing the bureaucracy, to increase the integration, transparency, and efficiency of the municipality services, and to ease and facilitate the citizens’ and companies’ lives. We see the digital technologies are a driver, a tool and an opportunity for increasing the quality of life of the citizens and the sustainability of the city, in economic, environmental and social terms.
PORTO KEY ACTIVITIES
- SCALEUP PORTO.: is a strategy from Porto that commits the city towards the promotion of the ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship. With an integrated vision of the scaleup process, Porto is developing the sustainability of the ecosystem, enhancing the economic competitiveness of the region, creating employment and improving citizens’ quality of life. Considering this framework, ScaleUp for Europe initiative appeared to promote the creation and development of a national and international support network for scaleup companies across Europe.
- THE GROWTH CHAMPIONS: is a pioneering program in Portugal run by the city of Porto, in partnership with the Portuguese Association of Young Entrepreneurs (ANJE). The first scaleup program in Portugal tackles the growth challenges that scaleups face when they are expanding globally: access to the market, capital, and talent. The workshops cover five different functions: marketing, sales, operations, finance, and people.
- DESAFIOS PORTO.: is an open collaboration between citizens, corporates, tech-based companies and the municipality. By engaging these stakeholders, the biggest challenges faced in the city can be tackled through innovative and scalable solutions. This symbiosis between challenges and solutions builds a living lab, resulting in a strong impetus to the development of the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- HACKACITY: is a hackathon that aims at testing big data and promoting its use to develop ideas that can have an impact in the city, but also fostering collaboration amongst stakeholders. For 24 hours, participants get together to develop solutions based on open source platforms, to address challenges faced by the citizens, using data provided by the city.
- PORTO. INNOVATION HUB: aims at demonstrating the potential of innovation in the city’s transformation. It plans to generate new scenarios and opportunities for innovation at an urban level, therefore contributing to the cultural innovation of the city and encouraging citizens to be the driving force of innovation