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It is said that 21st century is the century of cities. Governments across the globe have realised that for the nations and states to grow economically, cities need to grow economically. This paradigm shift views cities as the ‘engines of economic growth’.

By Sayaji Shinde, Business Head – Smart Cities and Infrastructure, Asia Pacific, AVEVA Group Plc.

HOWEVER, to achieve the economy growth city administrators need to overcome many challenges. City administrators are facing huge challenges while managing cities. The urbanisation is increasing population of cities, which is creating enormous amount of stress on existing city infrastructure and operations. And on other hand globalisation is increasing citizen expectations.

A citizen’s expectation from government has drastically increased due to this phenomenon. They are looking for better living conditions and citizen services. Hence on one hand, governments are keen to enhance and expand cities’ economies, while on the other hand they are trying to tackle huge challenges faced by cities.

Global urban expert community, have been studying these dynamics and also trying to create a framework to lay the road map to resolve these challenges. The outcome of these studies resides on three basic pillars, first enhancing and upgrading city infrastructure, second digital transformation of the city infrastructure and operations, and third is defining liveability index of the city.

Sayaji Shinde, Business Head – Smart Cities and Infrastructure, Asia Pacific, AVEVA Group Plc.

Traditional approach of investing in new city infrastructure and improving existing city infrastructure has been a focus over a decade, however city leaders have realised that although infrastructure investments are essential they are not sustainable and capital intensive.

Therefore, city leaders are embarking on digital transformation approach, which is proven to be more sustainable and effective to tackle short-term challenges such as traffic congestion and enforcement management, crime management, law and order management, water quality and adequacy management, electricity management, transit management and city incidence management.

It is a known fact that the digital transformation not only improvers the operational efficiency of the city but also determines insight on behaviour and needs of the citizens and city infrastructure, which in turn can be used to make better decision on infrastructure investment and operation improvements.

Similarly, Liveability Index of the city is a new measure to rate cities and their performances. Higher the liveability index better are economic prospects. Therefore, improvement in liveability index of the city to attract global business community, investors and talent pool which is a prime focus of many city leaders today.

Digitally transformed efficient city operations contribute tremendously in improving liveability index of the city. Research has shown that since city is a “system of systems”, achieving improvement through digital transformation in few areas of operations by deploying silo solutions (such as solid waste collection, adaptive traffic and transit management) not necessarily makes the city smart. And the reasons is interdependencies between city operations, which are not visible unless and until critical situations or incidences surfaces.

Similarly, inefficient operations of one department impacts the efficiency of other departments due to interdependencies between operations. Therefore, handling interdependencies between operations with different efficiency levels needs a special focus to improve the overall efficiency of the city operations.

To resolve these issues the concept of city command and control centre (CCC) was developed. Over the decade the CCC’s have transited through difference maturity levels. However, many cities are still struggling with making right choice of the technology and developing measurable outcome of the command centre initiatives.

AVEVA and Schneider Electric have developed a design for city command centre, which is powered by its industrial software platform. The design emphasises on active command and control centre approach, which empowers users with the ability to interact with people, applications and process seamlessly. The core system is a platform which is capable of:

Unified Central Platform: Platform, which allows seamless two-way integration with various subsystems dedicated for difference city operations, driving unified user interface providing ease of operations and central control across multiple operations.

Unified Control Platform: Automated responsive system, which unifies the control of various subsystem through single user interface empowering CCC users to manage interdependent incidences and events, situational awareness and common operational picture.

Unified Command Platform: Initiate chain of command to deliver instructions and information plus seek acknowledgement of fulfilling tasks from field resources by means of video, audio and mobile applications to achieve real time interaction with operational resources.

Unified Operation Platform: Platform allows users to enhance and extend the operational capabilities of subsystems through platform resources like workflow, GIS, Dashboards, KPI etc and also empowers CCC users to carry on cross functional operations through the platform’s unified user interface.

Unified Decision Support Platform: Ability to provide support to various operations during event and incidences based on patter analysis and data modelling, artificial intelligence, machine learning, what if analysis and simulation.

The digital transformation can be only being achieved in totality only if the city establishes the road map for the stepwise digital transformation and CCC platform becomes the heart of transformational journey. CCC Platform selection becomes crucial aspects as platform need to be capable of sustaining over long period of time equipped with accommodating present and future technologies. AVEVA City command and control solution with above capabilities is well proven as platform for the future.

Discover how AVEVA helps customer to achieve seamless integration of disparate sub-systems to deliver a truly centralised System of Systems: https://sw.aveva.com/smart-infrastructure-requires-systems-thinking.

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