US Ignite, ATIS Complete Phase 1 of Smart Cities Data Exchange Project
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 | Comments

US Ignite and the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) completed phase-one development of the Smart Cities Data Exchange framework, a project started in September to create a blueprint for the secure and interoperable exchange of data beyond city operational boundaries.

More than 10 community partners and nearly a dozen companies joined the project working group. The consortium defined its area of focus and created an implementation plan based on the scenario of exchanging community and economic development data, with an emphasis on datasets that contribute to measures of mobility and livability across a region.

Traditional data such as municipal budgets and crime reports, as well as new data from sensors, vehicles and internet of things (IoT)-enabled infrastructure have the power to improve decision-making processes related to housing, transit and commercial development at the local level. However, for cities to benefit from this information, they need new data-driven tools to visualize development outcomes and effectively assess neighborhood impact. Cities also need to be able to share data in an interoperable and secure way with other cities, adjacent communities, federal/state government agencies, trusted partners, citizens and application developers.

The Smart Cities Data Exchange framework will detail the processes for taking data from community development source systems such as traffic sensor data and affordable housing stock, creating a pipeline for data transformation into a common open schema, merging data from across multiple communities, and serving data through application programming interfaces (APIs), discovery systems and visualization tools.

"Data sharing is critical to solving problems that naturally extend beyond municipal boundaries," said Nick Maynard, chief strategy officer of US Ignite. "Whether communities are tackling issues around accessibility, commercial real estate development, or equitable transportation, the solutions all depend on knowing where the pain points lie, and what resources are available for use. Unfortunately, that information doesn't reside in a single departmental database."

In addition to a framework with technical specifications and data-sharing practices, the project team aims to produce a single, highly visual tool that will help communities explore and provide snapshots of development potential on a property-by-property basis based on zoning, development standards, infrastructure requirements, and funding options. Such a tool would enable communities to analyze land use scenarios in the context of building healthier neighborhoods, in terms of multimodal transportation, walkability, and ease of access to complementary services.

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