Citizen Engagement

Innovation avenue to cognitive cities

Imagine a city that is personalized, seamless, and citizen-driven. An innovation is paving the road for this vision.

And this innovation is already all around us. A new mobile app allowing citizens to report new graffiti or broken street lights. An e-voting solution making voting for city council more convenient and secured. A blockchain solution for property registration, making home ownership changes more transparent and faster. And a traffic information system that decreases traffic congestion, making our roads safer. A great deal of innovation has been infused into these solutions.

Agency out versus citizen in

The challenge is that most of innovation at the city level is still happening in digital silos. Cities still start the innovation process from the agency out rather than the citizen in.

So what does this mean for the citizen? Well, we are all digital but bouncing from one app to another. And we need lots of brain power to manage the innovation where it exists today.

Well, this is where we are today. But 10 years from now, we can see that the city of tomorrow places people at the center of everything. It is a city that seamlessly integrates digital technologies into everyday life. A city, which:

  • Constantly learns through interactions with citizens
  • Continuously ingests real-time data from sensors and services
  • Connects service providers, facilitating a 360-view of an individual
  • Uses collective intelligence to adapt to change
  • Understands individuals and delivers services according to their needs

And that is a Cognitive City!

A shift of paradigm

Transformational technologies like the Internet of Things, blockchain, and mainly Artificial Intelligence help us to deliver on the promise of a Cognitive City. The best synergistic effect of these technologies is achieved when they converge into a platform approach. The platform concept is not new (please read my previous blog), but combining it with the latest advances in technology fuels a paradigm shift. This allows the city to focus on user experience. It enables the city to become an ecosystem orchestrator and to facilitate a new business model.  But this time it’s not just about technology — it’s a NEW approach, a mindset, and a business way of thinking!

During the next 10 years, this new approach will transform the city experience for all. The city of tomorrow will have people at the centre of everything. Services will be seamless and accessible wherever we are or whatever device we are using. Services will leverage data at its core and cognitive analytics will give us a customized experience integrated across of entire city.

Please join me in the discussion about this topic by leaving me a comment or hooking up with me on Twitter (@miroholecy) or on LinkedIn.

CTO - Transportation and National Infrastructure

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