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Glasgow City Council’s Future Cities Demonstrator Programme, funded by Innovate

Capturing data is essential but not sufficient: you need to make data easily readable on a shared interface to enable informed decision-making.

Dashboards are interactive platforms that provide communities, businesses, and citizens with an in-depth and ongoing view of urban development. They can also be used as a tool for budget-friendly data analysis. As a result, dashboards are now a key feature of smart-city performance.

In Dublin, for example, this feature is freely accessible to decision-makers and residents, enabling them to use and participate in the data flow generated by their communities. Singapore, which is regularly cited as an example of a smart city, carries out real-time studies on commuter satisfaction with public transport, thereby allowing it to correct minor deficiencies on a consistent basis.

Indicators and benchmarks

Dashboards are not exclusive to world-class capitals and metropolises. Smaller cities such as Gütersloh, Bochum, Essen, and Aachen in Germany, with which Axians Infoma (VINCI Energies) has been working closely, have also opted for the “smart city dashboard.”

“Using thousands of key performance indicators, cities can build their own configuration and create a benchmark encompassing their objectives and results from other cities. They can take into account variables such as city size and location for more accurate comparisons,” states Oliver Couvigny, Managing Director, Business Area, Public at Axians Infoma.

The key is to persuade public authorities and operators to provide access to their digital data. In Paris, the RATP Group (a state-owned public transport operator) evaluated the risks and opportunities associated with open data before deciding to make public transport data in Paris available in real time. “Citizen participation is crucial for smart cities,” notes Oliver Couvigny, who believes that intra-urban data is “no longer a black box.”