The Urban Institute: Smart Services for Smart Cities
“At [ui!] The Urban Institute, we are dedicated to developing evidence-based insights that improve people’s lives and strengthen communities,” begins Simon Kaplan, CEO of [ui!] The Urban Institute, Asia Pacific. For the team at [ui!], the primary aim has been to provide a platform for cities that enables them to integrate public legacy data with new data to deliver smart services. The firm’s flagship product, UrbanPulse, is “the heart and the cockpit of the Urban Institute” that ensures efficiency in different functionalities of a city, and has the ability to connect all corners of a city together to create services that benefit the entire population. The platform is open and flexible in analyzing data to offer services that best suit a client city’s requirements, while avoiding vendor lock-in.
The company effectively identifies gaps in a city’s existing data ecosystem, and merges existing with new data to create a platform that affords relevant smart services. By collaborating with lawmakers, community leaders, corporations, and grassroots change-makers the company diagnoses problems and designs road maps, creating core technologies that serve a city well.
From fleet services to carbon dioxide reduction in cities, the team Urban works across all the corners to deliver smart results
While smart city initiatives promise to change the way we live, one challenge in that direction is the cost to deploy new networks to capture and leverage data. To counter-balance expense, Urban Institute reuses existing data that allows cities to maximize the ‘value of data’ and increase the return-on-investments a city has already made. “The UrbanPulse implements a multi-sided data market that allows cities to realise the value of their data and accelerate the delivery of smart services”, says Kaplan. Cities also face the dilemma of choosing the ‘right technologies’ which optimally meet their needs. Leveraging its expertise, The Urban Institute can assist cities to improve aspects such as traffic flow and pollution. The firm also provides an energy management tool that maximizes benefit across a city of renewable resources.
With a culture that promotes self-management, the team at Urban Institute operate with a high level of trust and promotes an open environment that encourages each to have a say. While its offices are dotted across the world, the entirety of Urban Institute team works as a tightly integrated network which delivers valuable services for cities. Having established itself in the European region, the firm aims to expand its services in the U.S. and Asia (China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand). “From a technological standpoint, we are adding new suites of services to support the existing services alongside building micro-services and networking capabilities,” concludes Kaplan.