Aims of the project:

  • The project aims to build and deliver a smarter, more connected Manchester, creating a city that uses technology to meet the complex needs of its people. It is also aiming to create a blueprint for smarter cities worldwide.

Key challenges and how were these overcome:

  • A key challenge has been efficiently organising and integrating the large range and volume of datasets involved in the programme.  Ordnance Survey has been applying common geospatial referencing and standards to many of the datasets to overcome these challenges

Key success factors:

The programme is being measured by the development of solutions that address use-cases under four key themes

  • Culture and Public Realm
  • Health and Social Care
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Travel and Transport.

Success will ultimately be judged by the extent to which solutions get adopted and used by the people of Manchester on a day-to-day basis.

Key learnings:

The programme has exposed some important learning points, notably:

  • Location has to be embedded as a core element of reference architecture when designing a Smart environment in order to create true interoperability;
  • Location is a truly unique characteristic that can distinguish and identify assets and actions in a Smart environment;
  • Collaborating effectively across public and private sectors requires new business models and ways of working;
  • Standards are required to encourage interoperability between Smart environment projects and technologies with specific reference to location.

A city is brought to life by the people that live, work and play at the heart of it. CityVerve isn’t really about streets, buildings or buses. Nor is it just about giving cutting edge connectivity to sensors and devices. It isn’t about ‘things’ at all, it’s about people and place.

CityVerve brings together the brightest minds and pioneering uses of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to redefine ‘smart’ in the context of a living, working city. It aims to build and deliver a smarter, more connected Manchester, creating a city that uses technology to meet the complex needs of its people.

Here are some examples of some of the applications that are being explored within CityVerve:

  • Encouraging healthier lifestyles: demonstrating how providing mechanisms and IoT devices can encourage people to become more active through digitally delivered context-aware “nudges” designed to engender behavioural change. Based on data inputs such as weather, traffic levels, air quality and current location, we will develop a programme for citizens that primarily focuses on them getting out and exploring their city and local environment rather than instructing people to exercise.
  • Air quality monitoring: demonstrating how high-quality air monitoring devices can deliver real-time data at a reasonable cost. This can be collated to help make decisions that have a lasting and positive impact on traffic and transportation, health and exercise as well as the environment.
  • Intelligent bus stops: rethinking the bus stop to enrich communities. Through the use of technology, including location-based services and mobile apps, the bus stops deliver location relevant content. People have the ability to ‘check-in’ to their bus stop, to let bus operators know they are waiting for their service, leading to a more responsive service and enhanced traveller experience.
  • Sensing trams: Through using real-time data collated via IoT devices on the tram network, we are working to accurately measure occupancy and provide information to citizens and tourists accordingly, as well as ensure the tram network can be a demand responsive operation. Data collected through these sensors will enable the provision of real-time tram information to passengers to enhance their journeys and encourage use of the network.

How long has the project been operational:The project commenced in July 2016.

How long the project took from concept approval to implementation: CityVerve is a 2-year demonstrator programme which is still in progress.

Funding: CityVerve is a UK government research and development funded programme.  It was the winning bid under an Innovate UK ‘Internet of Things Demonstrator’ competition in 2016.  The funding is provided by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Picture courtesy of: RESIN

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