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Urban4Cast: Providing urban forecasts for city management | News - Ubiwhere



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JAN 18 2022

Urban4Cast: Providing urban forecasts for city management


Cities have several data sources available that can be used for city planning, but they do not always know how to make the best use of them or how to interpret them.

As part of Ubiwhere’s participation in the AI4EU Open Call, Urban4Cast aimed to help cities better understand the mobility patterns of their citizens for decision-making processes.

By providing urban forecasting capabilities, the solution developed within the Urban4Cast project provides rich and valuable data to city management to several decision-makers, from city councils to transport operators. This type of information is crucial for emissions, climate change, air quality and exposure studies, and city planning.

The forecasting models developed within Urban4Cast aimed to measure traffic demand in Paris and parking availability in Santander in certain conditions (namely the locations of such options, traffic and weather). It resulted in a demonstration that concerned historical and real-time data forecasts with the models being regularly updated.

Urban4Cast used mainly open data through public APIs. As the project had different use cases, there were a variety of data sources provided by cities and their partners and by commercial data providers.

The solution builds upon reference software architectures for data ingestion and processing in Smart Cities, namely Ubiwhere’s Urban Platform, a reference smart city platform currently available in dozens of cities in Europe and is made available as open-source.

Aiming to become an international reference in Smart Cities, Ubiwhere is aware that each city is unique. So is their data, which can become a challenge, especially when the data does not comply with any of the open standards supported. Ubiwhere designed the Urban Platform’s system architecture to be as modular as possible to tackle these cases, allowing a quick and easy integration of new datasets. The greatest lessons learnt while working directly with cities in the co-creation environments enabled us to rapidly adapt to specific use cases and integrate some of these non-standard datasets into the Urban Platform in very brief periods. Ubiwhere is making the core of the Urban Platform open-source, fostering different actors to be a part of this roadmap.