Hitachi uses IoT to give Copenhagen smart city insights; drive local innovation

Hitachi Insight Group launched on Wednesday City Data Exchange for Copenhagen, a new solution for making public and private data accessible so that they can power innovation that can make smart cities of the future more sustainable, prosperous, and vibrant.

The City Data Exchange is a new service that will provide data to an ecosystem that can turn cities into smart cities. The marketplace for data was developed over the past year by Hitachi Insight Group, which built the solution, created a first set of applications, and tested it with real data, in close collaboration with all the partners who are contributing data to the service.

The project is a key initiative of the City of Copenhagen and the Capital Region that supports their drive to become carbon neutral by 2025, while offering a huge potential to improve the quality of life of citizens and boost the local economy. With its launch, the City Data Exchange will bring together data from public and private data providers, taking what was once a fragmented data landscape and turning it into a one-stop-shop for public and private data from across the Copenhagen region.


The City Data Exchange will offer data in different categories such as city life, infrastructure, climate and environment, business data and economy, demographics, housing and buildings, and utilities usage. It meets the needs of local government, city planners, architects, retailers, telecoms networks, utilities, and all other companies and organizations who want to understand what makes Copenhagen, its businesses and its citizens tick.

The range of categories also shows that the launch has significance way beyond Copenhagen itself. The exchange could become the solution for data-driven city planning and big data analytics for the Internet of Things in other cities around the globe.

The purpose of the City Data Exchange is to collect data from public and private data owners and make it readily available for consumption by public and private entities working on solutions to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. This platform streamlines the analytic process by

eliminating the need to rebuild the big-data plumbing for each analysis, and eliminates the big-data silos that make it difficult to share information among entities. Over time, it can be used to integrate data from multiple sources, such as demographics, crime statistics, energy consumption, air quality sensors and traffic sensors.

Hitachi Insight Group will also be developing applications on this platform, which is designed to enable other players such as small medium enterprises, startups and developers to develop applications that use this shared information. Taking advantage of this data platform will help the city of Copenhagen, the capitol region of Denmark, and businesses operating there to improve their operations and provide better services for their customers, without needing a huge investment in infrastructure and data gathering.

“Smart Cities need smart insights, and that’s only possible if everybody has all the facts at their disposal. The City Data Exchange makes that possible; it’s the solution that will help us all to create better public spaces and — for companies in Copenhagen — to offer better services and create jobs,” said Frank Jensen, the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen.

A typical example of how the City Data Exchange can transform city planning is a project by design practice Gehl Architects, which ran a public space analysis in 2005 to boost the attractiveness of Copenhagen’s Vesterbrogade passage. Much of their design work relied on data based on samples. Thanks to the data exchange, in the future Gehl Architects can revisit the project to gain insights into how citizens are using the area, which will result in better informed design decisions and public policy making.

Mind My Business is another great example of how an integrated data solution such as the City Data Exchange can help a city’s economy to thrive. The mobile app, developed by Vizalytics, brings together all the data that can affect a retailer — from real-time information on how construction or traffic issues can hurt the footfall of a business, to timely reminders about taxes to pay or new regulations to meet. The “survival app for shopkeepers” makes full use of all the relevant data sources brought together by the City Data Exchange.

The City Data Exchange is currently offering raw data to its customers, and later this year will add analytical tools. The cost of gathering and processing the data will be recovered through subscription and service fees, which are expected to be much lower than the cost any company or city would face in performing the work of extracting, collecting and integrating the data by themselves.

Last week, Hitachi Insight Group introduced Lumada IoT core platform with open and adaptable architecture that simplifies IoT solution creation and customization. Integrating proven commercial technologies from across Hitachi’s portfolio, Lumada incorporates expansive expertise in operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT), blending proven data orchestration, streaming analytics, content intelligence, simulation models, and other Hitachi software technologies.

Lumada accelerates synthesizing of actionable insights, delivering faster time to value and supporting better decisions that lead to real world outcomes, like increased productivity and safety, streamlined processes, reduced operational costs and carbon footprint, or improved quality of life. The platform will serve as the core foundation on which all of Hitachi’s IoT solutions are built and will enable the creation of IoT business ecosystems.

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