The Swissnex Urban Data Challenge
Busses, trams, pedestrians, and cars zoom about modern cities. But with urban growth comes challenges—one of them is how to improve transportation.
The Urban Data Challenge competition invited participants to explore mobility data sets from three cities—San Francisco, Geneva, and Zurich—and were challenged to draw meaningful insights through visualization. Over 60 designers, programmers, data scientists, and artists completed the challenge from Zurich, Geneva, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Paris, and Singapore. (Watch the highlights from the awards above.)
The results are impressive: Transit Quality + Equity gets political by overlaying transit data with income levels, the Frustration Index incorporates the emotional aspects of using public transport. Dots on the Bus, recieved the Fusepool prize of $5,000 to develop their visualization into something truly useful by bringing humor to the difficult issue of public transport - rush hour can be hilarious.
Or watch a visualization that let you fly over Geneva along a bus route in A City’s Heartbeat.
The Urban Data Challenge proves the power of Open Governmental Data. Antoine Stroh, project manager for Public Transport Geneva, is amazed with all the work put into the project and the results. They opened up its first data set for the Urban Data Challenge. For Antoine Stroh the results of the challenge seem to point into the right direction. “This is a first step,” he says. “I am sure that we will carry on with open data.”
This is only the beginning. Now, we will see how the three cities move forward and follow the insights, actions, and implementation, there is also a touring exhibit of the projects planed, an Urban Data Challenge 2014 with more data sets and more cities. Stay tuned.
Leave your comment below, or reply to others.
Read more from the Meeting of the Minds Blog
Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
Lighting infrastructure is a perfect example of futureproofing. As cities are swapping out traditional high-pressure sodium street lights with energy-efficient LEDs and smart nodes that can remotely monitor and control the lights, don’t just be thinking about a smart lighting solution. Think about the position those streetlights are in to support so much more, like intersection safety analytics, parking optimization, and gunshot detection.
The idea of multi-channel civic engagement and the role of the grassroots community marketer is being implemented by forward-thinking smart city leaders who understand the importance—and economic benefits—of giving their constituents a voice. More investments are being made into digital systems that reach and engage the public.
From an energy type standpoint, a city’s electric utility can make a big difference regarding which actions cities should undertake. For instance, a city in the service territory of an electric utility with ambitious plans to decarbonize its generation mix may want to focus greater attention on future emissions scenarios versus current emissions when making decisions on priorities. This would mean focusing actions on transportation, space heating, and industrial processes, since those would likely be greater contributors to emissions (vs. electricity) in such a future scenario.