Digital City Solutions Help City Managers Increase Productivity
We have found that two primary drivers are focusing development in this space:
- Rapidly decreasing costs in technology: smart meters and sensors are now available at low costs and also are much smaller; they can collect data in real time (or close to it) across cities, buildings, ports, floors, offices, and for specific assets. This also includes the development of new social media applications that bring this information in an articulate and emphatic form to a wider array of stakeholders. Together, these advances have greatly reduced the costs associated with visibility and management of city / port / airport operations.
- Increasing demands for information by consumers and residents: smart phone growth has been exponential over the past few years, and many consumers / residents have phones that they rely upon for a wide array of purposes; one of which is the ability to easily communicate with other consumers, stakeholders and public officials. Digital Cities are relying upon mobile applications, integrated to back office systems, to effectively communicate / sell / promote / listen to stakeholders who will influence growth and be active participants in digital city operations.
A recent project that reflects these drivers is a Large Digital City in Western India.
The city is India’s first hill city, with a level of city infrastructure yet to be experienced in India, thus setting a new benchmark in planning, construction and service delivery. It has the distinction of being the largest urban infrastructure project in India and it provides significant economic benefits to the region. Located near two major metropolises, Mumbai and Pune, the digital city is fast developing amidst 25,000 acres of land. It is being developed in a phased manner, planned across five town centers. Based on the principles of New Urbanism, the master plan of city has been developed by internationally renowned design consultant HOK, USA.
The city found itself manually managing a ton of information that was difficult to search and expensive to maintain. Employees needed faster access to information and better ways to achieve team collaboration. “Without a robust collaboration system in place, routine tasks become tedious and time-consuming, which bogs down productivity and undermines morale,” says Vice President – Information Systems. “We were becoming too large an organisation to operate without a central database, document management system, or network.”
Wipro worked with the digital city in the areas of City Management System & Services, E-Governance, ICT infrastructure and value added services, including providing intelligent home solutions and digital lifestyle.
Wipro’s ICT 2.0 Digital City services provide integrated and effective solutions for enhancing IT operations within the Digital city, focused on enabling operating models, while defining processes for delivering best-in-class governance services. Wipro provided the necessary Digital City infrastructure to support technology selection, supply, installation and management of platforms, networks, data centre to create “MyCity.” “MyCity,” a data integration and collaboration technology platform, provided the city with a single, central place to get information, helping users increase productivity, and enhance collaboration.
With a successful information platform, the city has greater transparency into business processes and significantly streamlines everyday tasks and minimizes paper costs.
With specific customization and fine tuning of the portal in place, The Digital City is building a culture based on the real-time sharing of information and integration, leading to faster decision-making. It also has a dramatic impact on internal communications within the rapidly evolving enterprise.
Employees have access to countless resources, which helps them quickly find critical information. This helps them to optimize their efficiency and serve management in a better way. The solution also drives users to increase productivity. It assists managers to take timely decisions by providing real time updated data and thus enhances certainty. The productivity has increased by 30 percent post deployment of the solution.
The city President says, “Seamless flow of information helps employees in accessing and effectively utilizing data. Access to information, faster workflows, increased opportunities for staff collaboration and enhanced community building with employees will have a positive impact on our business and will give better visibility and control. This only results in enhanced productivity.”
Leave your comment below, or reply to others.
Please note that this comment section is for thoughtful, on-topic discussions. Admin approval is required for all comments. Your comment may be edited if it contains grammatical errors. Low effort, self-promotional, or impolite comments will be deleted.
Read more from MeetingoftheMinds.org
Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
A new toolkit has been developed to help businesses think through strategies to decrease mobility barriers to the workplace, which reduces turnover. When workers can reliably get to work regardless of their personal circumstances, it provides employment stability and the opportunity to build wealth. It’s a win-win. Developed through a partnership between Metropolitan Planning Council and a pro bono Boston Consulting Group team, the toolkit includes slide decks, an overview report, customizable templates, a cost calculator, and instructional videos walking a company through the thought process of establishing a baseline situation, evaluating and selecting a solution, and standing up a program.
Depending on the employer’s location and employees’ needs, solutions may range from helping with last-mile transportation to the transit system, to developing on-demand vanpools, to establishing in-house carpool matching systems. The ROI calculator gives employers the ability to determine the break-even cost—the subsidy amount a company can manage without hurting the bottom line.
Housing that is affordable to low-income residents is often substandard and suffering from deferred maintenance, exposing residents to poor air quality and high energy bills. This situation can exacerbate asthma and other respiratory health issues, and siphon scarce dollars from higher value items like more nutritious food, health care, or education. Providing safe, decent, affordable, and healthy housing is one way to address historic inequities in community investment. Engaging with affordable housing and other types of community benefit projects is an important first step toward fully integrating equity into the green building process. In creating a framework for going deeper on equity, our new book, the Blueprint for Affordable Housing (Island Press 2020), starts with the Convention on Human Rights and the fundamental right to housing.
I caught up recently with Sarah Charlton who is Associate Professor at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
The research she is leading, located in both Johannesburg, South Africa and Maputo, Mozambique, looks at the interface between the mobility use by residents and transportation investments by the state. The question guiding her research is “are ordinary households using the transport modes that the government is investing in and prioritizing?” The research is a partnership between two universities across two countries and two cities.
Sarah reflects on research during the pandemic across languages, countries, histories and cultures.