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Open Source and Open Data for Smart Cities in Developing Countries: African Perspective

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it thank you and good afternoon I want to share with you some thoughts from my uh research and I hope I can also give you some of food for thought if we think about smart cities there are so many different definitions and all the things that they aim to achieve basically looking at using the information communication technology Our to improve all kinds of services ultimately we want to improve the quality of life of the people in those areas we think of health we think of traffic we think of energy but their meaning more application areas where this is applicable nite and that shall what I wanna focus on today is that we what we are trying with Marx is easy to use the ICT infrastructure to improve our physical infrastructure so the focus here is on infrastructures the and if you look
at many of today's infrastructures that come from the 18 hundreds and I have evolved into public services that are regulated by governments um in very many cases here a serious as strong top-down influence in these government-regulated uh infrastructures but increasingly also we see other kinds of infrastructures somewhere with the bottom up influence and I think the open source community is 1 of the examples of this now elaborate more on the are these infrastructures just in which there is no blueprint they just come spontaneously that reaches researchers have found that in many instances they tend to be stronger because of that strong top-down agent that it does the top-down influence disappears which often is a problem for us in developing countries in everything falls flat answer is the is a bottom up that meets the top down then you can strengthen the infrastructure so what researchers
have found that these in infrastructures for from with the bottom up activity user-driven so users build them as themselves for their own needs and to fulfill the Olham functions and requirements that they need they are
self organized very much like we see in nature are about the of flying uh in large groups or which will fish organizing themselves they have a decentralized system
of decision making so we are done have a centralized control it takes all the decisions of filters down that everybody's involved in these decisions and then as I said there's a bottom up influence on this infrastructure because the users are deciding how the infrastructure is going to evolve nations think about open source very many of these projects was it has very strong read it as a means to an inverse infrastructure the user-driven so the developers themselves create open source and very often use it they are self organized in many cases are there is a decentralized system of decision-making which goes hand in hand with a self organization and then because the users of driving this is a strong bottom influence now if you look at open data this is not always the case of an inverse infrastructure because many of the sources of open data come from signs may also come from government but if we add crowdsourcing and volunteered geographic information for example to open data will published that is open data they may also get into the area of bottom up in these infrastructures because here we have the user's driving the data collecting the data verifying the data they organize themselves into groups to collect that data it's a decentralized system of decision making and we have the bottom-up influence because the people who are collecting data very often also use that data if it if you look at today's meaning of today's smart city initiative so very much public sector driven I am we give our regulations league it's um strategies of how to roll out of smart cities and things like that but if we look at and uh let alone was are talking about just now is if that's top-down influence disappears and very often things fall flat so we have looked at special their infrastructure initiatives for example in Africa and when there was a donor from outside with uh very much an impetus there was money there was a drive to do this thing special infrastructure thrive as soon as that donor leaves the country then the thing's gonna fall apart and I think this bottom up if you have the user's driving that from the bottom you can leave something behind it uh once a top-down goes away and researchers have also shown I'm Francis Harvey and his colleagues in in the United States looked at local government data sharing and found that effect top-down includes goes away everything falls flat and list is a strong relationship that's left behind at the bottom so that's the 1 thing about smart cities that is a concern to us in developing countries because very often we have a switch of government and in a top down influence and if we can the other thing is that smart cities are very much sold as a technology will fix the problem but I think we all know that use technology facilitates the problem solving because it's the people who really have to use it you have to have to make use of it so if we look at developing countries there are many different definitions I'm thinking of my home countries of Africa Alan we have some some people say we are developing countries some say we're not a developing country there are some we are kind of in the middle between 2 of phases but if you look at some statistics we have a GDP where we are fitting the 35 depends on which 1 you can't but then if you look at their percapita we fall down on that let's say you can already see that there's some discrepancies in the Gini coefficient also shows that that is very high I am very concerned about people use public transport according to a set of I think this was 2 years ago people have reasonable access to electricity water sanitation very limited Internet access at home that very high mobile penetration not here it's all of them smartphone so that I think that's a matter of time until but is that the unfortunately from your smartphone the date and things like that of full quite expensive life expectancy is 57 which is lower the trend is upwards and it was lower at some stage due to HIV AIDS inflation problem um but we all and urban our countries as 64 % of our people live in an of an environment and I think that the figure is about Our 13 to seem to live in informal settlements so I think it's an environment that are can benefit from smart cities there's a lot of things and smart city can benefit the country and its people um I think we have some challenges lives look at those In 2010 2011 and the government developed a national development plan and they look to the challenges in the country and the overall outcome was that despite a number of successes since we had our 1st democratic election in 1994 there so many challenges that continue the skills shortage financial constraints I don't think we need that's the perspective there many countries who struggle with that the performance of the public sector is uneven sometimes good sometimes not so this is where I'm coming from at the top down is not always debased optional it's not always been corruption undermines stated it's me and and that also plays a role in procurement so very often the the cost is not the problem the problem is just the fact that you have to go through procurement process in that regard open source is very often a nice alternative so these are challenges for a top-down approach let's look at some bottom things that are happening before that can happen so if you think of
again about smart cities and for example traffic and travel demand management but you see at the top there is what's typically happening in many countries you have these edge of the lanes high occupancy you hold so at a very cost these additional lanes of put in on our highways and only people With or any cause of all vehicles with many occupants are allowed to drive it and this helps to reduce the traffic on the highways because I think in in many areas of the world we've just reached are the limit of what we can do the but then if you look at the bottom we also have all kinds of traffic information available these days and there are some of these are open data some of them are open source some of the of them are proprietary but the bottom line is before I drive to work I check the traffic and if our care I am fortunate to that work with it's very flexible so if I can leave an hour later and missed the traffic I do that so you can see this this bottom up kind of infrastructure in terms of travel demand and traffic that is developing and I think there are lots of opportunities there from the Open Source and Open Data community to contribute to this or a bottom-up infrastructure then if we look at energies
I'm the old model coming from the 18 hundreds is transmit transmission distribution goes from some power station to transformers eventually reaches the offical your home what's happening these days is out sitting at around getting users to contribute to the our infrastructure maybe also very much regulated but I think they're all open source opportunities and Open Data opportunities to help the great are to know when they are out there is a need for more electricity when people can push electricity into the grid and then let's look at special better
sharing which I think in this community we are parts are familiar with so if you think about spatial data infrastructures what happened in the early 19 nineties when we moving to digital photography we had all these initiatives for spatial data sharing spatial data infrastructures and they're very much work in a top-down fashion so they would be legislation they would be policies they would be standards that are enforced and they work in a top-down fashion but as I explained to you in in many of the African countries we don't yet have a spatial data infrastructure infrastructure we have researched too few countries where there was 1 and then disappeared and it was all because the top-down influence to disappear so I think is a huge opportunity there in terms of crowdsourcing volunteered geographic information open-source development and a lot of this is already happening to meet the top down from the bottom so I don't think it's it's a question of we only 1 the bottom bottom up I think it's a question of these 2 have to meet each other halfway and work together because that legislation is necessary but so the collaboration among the colleagues and among the developers at the bottom up little the you think about smart cities and now developing countries I think if you combine that approach of having that legislation of having those policies of having forcing the standard together with the community developing the software the community contributing the data and the local people knowing each other working with each other face-to-face not thinking about a distant technology without a face then out we can get smart cities that are strong so we constrain from an infrastructure so in conclusion
Smart aim to use are the IC into infrastructure to make more efficient use of physical infrastructures that's today's physical infrastructures of a much are regulated in a top-down fashion and this presented some challenges in developing countries so I think there's an opportunity here for inverse bottom-up infrastructures to match parts that happening from top down or to strengthen those infrastructures an open source and open data especially for geo-spatial play an important role in smart cities so I see this as an opportunity to make smart cities in developing countries more resilient and sustainable by having that bottom-up influence from the people on the ground thank you the
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Titel Open Source and Open Data for Smart Cities in Developing Countries: African Perspective
Serientitel FOSS4G Seoul 2015
Autor Coetzee, Serena
Lizenz CC-Namensnennung - keine kommerzielle Nutzung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Deutschland:
Sie dürfen das Werk bzw. den Inhalt zu jedem legalen und nicht-kommerziellen Zweck nutzen, verändern und in unveränderter oder veränderter Form vervielfältigen, verbreiten und öffentlich zugänglich machen, sofern Sie den Namen des Autors/Rechteinhabers in der von ihm festgelegten Weise nennen und das Werk bzw. diesen Inhalt auch in veränderter Form nur unter den Bedingungen dieser Lizenz weitergeben.
DOI 10.5446/32115
Herausgeber FOSS4G
Erscheinungsjahr 2015
Sprache Englisch
Produzent FOSS4G KOREA
Produktionsjahr 2015
Produktionsort Seoul, South Korea

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