M.U.S.I.C.A (Urban Monitoring through Innovative Solutions for Smart Cities) is a computerised urban governance system that exploits Big Data and all the tools of Business Intelligence, Machine learning and Data visualisation for the urban monitoring carried out by the Municipality of Bari.
The solution was developed by a Temporary Grouping of Companies comprising Exprivia, Links and IBM.
The Municipality of Bari expressed the need for a single monitoring tool to effectively guide and check strategic and operational decisions for the wellbeing and safety of the general public. Although the council had large amounts of data available from different areas of the city’s life and environment, this was isolated information held by diverse and non-communicating bodies.
The project provides for the aggregation and coordination of these data, structured and unstructured, on a single web dashboard (Urban Control Centre) made available to the Council. The information obtained is displayed on a city map, offering a graphical interface that everyone can easily understand.
“The M.U.S.I.C.A. project - explains Angelo Tomasicchio, Councillor for Technological Innovation of the Municipality of Bari - is part of an overall vision that sees the city council and the Technological Innovation Division practically engaged in the demolition of the digital divide, in the development of innovation and in a constant search for how best to communicate directly with the general public".
"Collecting and managing the data produced by the City is only a first step”, says Felice Vitulano, Director of the Innovation Office of Exprivia Spa. “The challenge is to create a citywide nervous system to make it connected, resilient and increasingly relevant to people’s needs, which is able to suggest the right actions to take in response to any situations that may arise".
Three areas were considered: the wellbeing of the general public, the environment and energy efficiency, and safety.
The solution’s strength is that it can always combine data from various sources. In this case, the information was collected from:
- internal data sources of the Municipality of Bari: Municipal Police, Civil Registry, Local Information System (SIT) Assets and Public Assets, Distribution of Technological Innovation, Information Systems and TLC
- data sources external to the Municipality of Bari and private ones: Istat, Arpa, AMIU, AMGAS, Enel, AQP and Amtab
- various system-related infrastructures, such as security cameras and the BaRisolve application
- unstructured data sources such as the social media pages of the Council, the Mayor, and local newspapers and the OpenData Portal of the Municipality of Bari.
The wellbeing of the public
Citizen-friendly city status depends on three important factors:
- mapping of urban green areas
- calculation of the lighting failure rate
- quality of public transport
Through monitoring it will be possible to intelligently evaluate the maintenance or extension of public green areas, to monitor the performance, durability and failure rate of all lighting fixtures in the city, to know the precise number of public transport trips and vehicles, with a detailed view of the areas better or worse served with respect to population density.
Through surveys of the reports issued by the Municipal Police, a security map can be created and the districts classified according to the type and time of intervention carried out. This makes it easier to understand when and where to expect greater support from the police, and provides greater security for the public.
Using social network data, it is also possible to carry out a sentiment analysis to assess the perception of safety in the city and the most important topics that inform the debate in the city.
Environment and energy efficiency
The integration of Arpa data with weather and polluting control units allows the pollution level to be monitored and hourly updates given. When this level exceeds the legal threshold, the council can consider taking action to limit smog such as blocking traffic or setting up a Limited Traffic Area (ZTL).
The integration of data from the Puglia Aqueduct, Amgas and Enel also allows the monitoring of electricity, water and heat consumption by aggregating sections of the census. In so doing we can calculate the CO2 emitted and see any possible waste or energy loss, evaluating possible targeted interventions.
Results and awards
M.U.S.I.C.A. was recognised as the best 'Smart city, data and Internet of Things' project at the '10x10=100 projects to change PA' Award, promoted by Forum PA 2017. It also won the Best Practice prize at the European Public Sector Awards (EPSA) 2017, promoted by the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA).
In the first six months of the project the municipal police received a clear map of the areas with the highest concentration of theft, accidents, potholes and fires.
The aim is to open the platform to an increasing amount of data and information, in order to build a complete picture of the city. For example, information from smart camera images can be used for more in-depth safety analysis. Or the potential of 5G networks, which will make cities increasingly connected, can be used to help administrations make operational decisions on traffic, security and travel in real time.