Smart Utility Systems Addresses Drought Crisis through Smart H20 Mobile App

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  1. Water and Energy Conservation – As a way to address efficient utility management, Smart Utility Systems created a software solution to help utilities and water districts increase water and energy conservation efforts, enable better resource management, and make operations more efficient. This is currently being set up in California, but could also be used in other cities to help manage utilities and resources.
  1. Smart Utility Systems Addresses Drought Crisis through Silicon Valley Water & Energy Innovation Center and Smart H2O Mobile App – Business Wire (July 29, 2015)

The key elements of this technology would help address the problem by:

    • Leveraging mobile, data analytics and SaaS technologies for usage monitoring, and leak detection
    • Optimizing this efficient and accurate information to support customer engagement and workforce management
    • Providing a responsive technology that talks both ways, also reading and using the information on the latest government-mandated water use restrictions, helping consumer stay within legal boundaries and avoid fines and penalties
    • Providing feedback and Instant mobile access to consumers’ own water use
  1. The stakeholders who could use this technology may include local residents, Municipal Departments (IT, Utilities, Communications, Emergency Services), third party software developers and managers
  1. To deploy this technology, this could include:
    • Step 1: Developing a strategic plan, that is inclusive of all stakeholders
    • Step 2: Set up necessary equipment and software to implement the SUS (perhaps begin with a pilot, and test the effectiveness first)
    • Step 3: Once it has been tested and found successful, work with the Communications department to launch a campaign to raise awareness and encourage usage among local residents

Crowdsourcing flood maps in Jakarta

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  1. Safety and Civic Engagement – As a way to address flooding in Jakarta, a major challenges facing Jakarta, residents can use PetaJakarta, a tool designed to incorporate local mapping and flood information via Twitter, as a way to help residents navigate the city during a flood using real-time data.
  2. Crowdsourcing flood maps in Jakarta – CityMetric (July 15, 2015)
    • The key elements of this technology would help address the problem by:
    • Integrating real-time crime data with the city map via an interactive map
    • Leveraging the high usage of Twitter as a civic engagement tool (Jakarata is known as one of the most active cities on Twitter)
    • Providing residents with the latest information regarding floods, increasing safety
  3. The stakeholders who could use this technology may include the residents of Jakarta, Municipal Departments (IT, 311, Roads Department etc.), Emergency Services
  4. To deploy this technology, this could include:
    • Step 1: Pilot and test the existing app, while ensuring an effective verification step to reduce abuse
    • Step 2: Roll out a campaign to promote this tool, to ensure people tweet effectively, and know to check the real-time map/service for flood updates
    • Step 3: Monitor the service to ensure effectiveness

Using Real-Time Data to Drive Community Engagement

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1. Safety and Civic Engagement – To ensure transparency regarding public safety, the City of Oakland launched a ‘Calls for Service’ real-time data mapping app.

2. Oakland, Calif.’s Real-Time Crime Map Uses Data to Drive Community Engagement – GovTech (July 7, 2015)

The key elements of this technology would help address the problem by:

    • Integrating real-time crime data with the city map via an interactive map on the city’s website (The city’s IT department partnered with Esri, using Esri’s ArcGIS platform)
    • Providing residents the latest criminal and emergency activity on the map, as it’s filtered through the Oakland Police Department’s 911-dispatch system
    • Educating the public to understand what’s happening in their neighborhood, while giving a better perspective to residents about how the law enforcement agency is performing

3. The stakeholders who could use this technology may include the police department, municipal departments (IT, 311), and local citizens.

4. To deploy this technology, this could include:

    • Step 1: Develop a strategic plan with the key stakeholders
    • Step 2: Determine data sources necessary to effectively implement the integration of the data (Police department data, 311 data, mapping/GIS data)
    • Step 3: Launch and maintain the service

Hi-tech farming: growing plants in urban warehouses


  1. With increasing urbanization, this will place pressures on the food supply and network. To support a more sustainable urban food supply, new technologies and processes should be explored to increase an urban and sustainable food supply.
  2. Hi-tech farming: growing plants in urban warehouses – The Guardian (April 3, 2013)

AeroFarms, a farm start-up, has developed technology to support harvesting food in an urban environment, growing food in urban warehouses, using a technology called aeroponics, which is sprays nutrients to support the harvesting (the system is free of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides) and LED lighting.

The key elements of this technology would help address the problem by:

    • Using local warehouses to harvest the food in a more local facility, reducing the logistical challenges in transporting the food, providing a local source of food
    • Ensures food security – the harvest is protected against any sudden heat waves or frosts while grown indoors
    • Using less water to harvest the food – while agriculture is so water intensive, aeroponics uses 90% less water than conventional agriculture and about 50% less water than some hydroponics systems – a similar non-soil approach to farming in which the plant’s roots rest in a nutrient-rich water solution
  1. The stakeholders who could use this technology may include local farmers, restaurants, supermarkets, local government, and residents.
  2. To deploy this technology, this should include the following initial steps:

Step 1: Develop a proposal and strategy to present to potential investors, supporters and local government

Step 2: Engage with other investors to help finance and support the delivery of this technology, while developing partnerships with local stakeholders (such as supermarkets)

Step 3: Expand and staff up the team to help implement and operationalize the technology and process

A high-tech helmet that helps you navigate the city

1. Issue: Mobility

2. A high-tech helmet that helps you navigate the city – CityLab (June 4, 2015)


To optimize navigation for cyclists, and increase the number of sustainable mobility options in the urban environment, technology may play a role in improving the experience for cyclists. The key elements of this technology would help address the problem by:

    • Using a Heads-Up Display (HUD), this visually feeds cyclists navigational directives and landmarks, by using a concept that uses a visor that slides over a cyclist’s face to highlight the best ourite using glowing lines.
    • It would be particularly useful in navigating tricky paths through parks or alleys, and may in fact encourage cyclists to use other routes and reduce congestion off of busy roads, allowing clearer paths for cyclists
    • This technology, while originally intended to help with wayfinding, may also prove to be helpful by increasing safety and warnings through other sensors.

3. The stakeholders who could use this technology may include cyclists, municipal governments, technology developers, and cycling retailers.

4. To deploy this technology, this could include:

    • Step 1: Technical developments would need to be coordinated with municipal data and planning.
    • Step 2: Test the technology and determine ways to improve and optimize its functionality.
    • Step 3: Coordinate the promotion, sales and education of the use of these visors.

Tackling urban rat populations using predictive data analytics

  1. Health/Civic Engagement: Tackling urban rat populations in Chicago
  1. Chicago kills rats with big data, predictive analysis (Fortune – April 29, 2015)
  • The City of Chicago has collected 12 years worth of data using resident complaints, ranging from calls about rodent sitting to graffiti, organizing the data into different clusters, which lead the engineers determine where the rats can potentially breed allowing a proactive response to rodent infestations
  • Using the data analytics ‘SmartData’ platform, the City of Chicago discovered that there is a relationship between calls regarding overflowing trash bins and food poisoning in restaurants and rodent infestations
  • The analysis and reporting is led by the Department of Innovation and Technology in partnership with the Event and Pattern Detection Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University, and the data is shared with the city’s sanitation team
  • In addition to tracking formal resident complaints, the data engineers save every tweet and Facebook post geocoded in Chicago. Then the information is segregated in various clusters from crime to sanitation complaints. Similar to the complaint tracking through the 311 system, this information is saved and segregated into clusters and is shared with respective departments
  • The results of using this data forecasting has resulted in a 20% more effective rodent prediction and delivery of rodent abatement services
  1. The organizational stakeholders will include a number of governmental departments, such as the Department of Innovation and Technology, the Department of Sanitation and the 311 Department. Eventually, this data could also be used by the Communications Department for increased civic engagement with citizens. Residents are also key stakeholders in the successful implementation of this strategy, in reporting and responding to this information.
  1. To successfully deploy this technology in other urban settings, it should consider the following steps:
  • Step1: Identify and coordinate key stakeholders and data resources
  • Step 2: Coordinate a strategic plan and develop software (including the deployment of the data collection and analysis, as well as communication strategies between the different stakeholders)
  • Step 3: Begin testing and piloting the implementation of the platform and loopback to make improvements for a more robust roll-out