Aggregating data on traffic, weather, government and elder services aims to make citizens’ lives better — but potentially less private
The residents of Singapore are on track to do just that.
Creating a centralized dashboard view of sensors deployed across a distributed network is nothing new, but it takes on a bigger — perhaps ominous — meaning when deployed across a major city.
Many technologically advanced cities worldwide are exploring ways to build such comprehensive digital views for managing traffic and parking, monitoring water and air quality, and offering such citizen-facing services as web-based tools for interacting with government agencies. Some smart city experts call this system approach a “city brain” or, less glamorously, a “municipal backplane.”
Such a setup could be used as a “command and control” center for city infrastructure or as a better way to manage data across disparate agencies and make planning decisions. A municipality, for example, could use aggregated data from sensors to justify a subway expansion or other long-term infrastructure improvements in a 10-year or even a 50-year planning pipeline.
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