Connecting the dots: Building the networked city

connected city

Image Source: Real Time Passenger Information from IBM Research. Map data: Google, Bluesky

Cities are complex systems with many different networks, which must be managed by people and automated systems. We are becoming more connected through technology using smart phones, GPS or social networks to improve our experience of the city. It is a two way process.


We don’t just consume information; we leave digital traces every time we interact with city services like traffic sensors, parking tag or Dublin bikes.
The connected city simply describes the ‘internet of things’; an urban system where people and objects are able to communicate in real time.

Open data is driving real change in the way people move around the city. Real time transport data from the city’s traffic control centre feeds into journey planners that allow you to plan your travel or time that last pint before the dash to the bus! Parking apps show us the nearest available parking spot, saving time, fuel and emissions and easing traffic congestion. Location services on our mobiles tell us about weather, events, traffic as well as museums, parks, public art and restaurants. Pedestrian flow data can also help us target the best site locations for land uses like retail or business.

We can learn a lot about how people really interact with their city by analysing this kind of urban flow data.


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