ICT Summit NOW 2013 was held on September 24-26, 2013 in Istanbul , Halic Congress Center. The Summit included also Smart City Conference which was sponsored and organized by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.
Today half of the world population is living in cities. Solutions to emerging problems, increasing productivity and sustaining this trend require a holistic approach involving the use of information technologies. This year between September 25th and 26th, the conference was hosted by the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) President Dr. Kadir Topbas. It welcomed administrators of cities from Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
The “Smart City Istanbul” conference covered the following topics: Transportation in the cities of future, environment and energy, urban safety, smart social services and governance. The interactive panels and presentations aimed to share solutions to problems faced by city administrations as part of their “Smart City” vision. The “Smart City Workshop” allowed visitors to to become acquainted with near future services of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.
Leyla Arsan CEO of TAGES, made a speech on a panel namely “How To Plan and Renovate the Smart City?” on September 26, 2013 at 11:50. The other participants of the panel were Okan Erhan Oflaz – Ministry of Env. and Urbanization, GIS Dept. General Manager, Fatih Develi – BELBİM, Business Development Manager, Mathias Reddmann – European Commission, Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT), Project and Policy Officer, Unit “Smart Cities & Sustainability”.
Leyla Arsan after playing a short video on Smart Istanbul, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRi0D22-UJU made her presentation http://ictsummitnow.com/wp-content/uploads/ICT-S-NOW-13-Akilli-Sehir-26-Eylul-Leyla-Arsan.pdf by emphasizing that in order to transform to a smart city digital plans and open data are primary necessities. She has summarized the result of the Istanbul ICT Watchdog Project which was concluded by the recommendation for the development of Istanbul Digital Plan and she gave some examples of the digital plans of other cities like NY, Dublin and Manchester. Leyla Arsan said that “the motivation of a smart city usually comes from the needs of green energy, easy city life, accessibility, and depending on the cities’ specific needs it may vary. As a result a digital plan contains the digital industry, fast internet for the access for everybody, open government and open data, sustainability but most importantly the participation of the citizens and communities which takes a role in the heart of the plan. A city is not only composed of buildings and roads but mainly people are the heart of the city which makes the city a city! That’s why if you want a smart city you should have smart citizens. If you cannot make your citizens smart, then you cannot talk about a smart city. Therefore any digital development should be based on the citizens’ needs and should be user friendly.”
She also stated the importance of smart cities and sustainability in the European Commission which takes an important role in the Digital Agenda and summarized the studies and activities held by the Digital Agenda Localization in Turkey Project by also stating that the 3rd Action of the Digital Agenda is the opening of the public data resources to public. She described the importance of open data in which public, applications, research, data.gov, linked data and semantic web are the surroundings.
Leyla Arsan, presented the CitySDK Project (www.citysdk.eu) in which TAGES and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality are the Turkish partners of the EU Funded CIP Project where an open source smart city software standard and development kit will be developed which cities’ open data can be used to be used in different cities where further development could be done. CitySDK is creating a toolkit for the development of digital services within cities. The toolkit comprises of open and interoperable digital service interfaces as well as processes, guidelines and usability standards. CitySDK enables a more efficient utilization of the expertise and know-how of developer communities to be applied in city service development.
23 European partners in 9 countries where 8 cities involved in the pilots: Amsterdam, Netherlands, Barcelona, Spain, Helsinki, Finland, Istanbul, Turkey, Lamia, Greece, Lisbon, Portugal, Manchester, UK, Rome, Italy. The Project focuses on three Pilot domains: Smart Participation, Smart Mobility and Smart Tourism. Within each of the three domains, a large-scale Lead Pilot is carried out in one city. The experiences of the Lead Pilot will be applied in the Replication Pilots in other Partner cities.
Istanbul City pilot was chosen on the Mobility domain where a specific API for the mobility of Istanbul was prepared under the CitySDK APIs. The pilot will be a journey planner in the city of Istanbul and also a developer community is being gathered in order to disseminate the use of CitySDK APIs, especially the Istanbul APIs. For this reason a Hackathon is being organized by the lead of TAGES in cooperation with Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (www.ibb.gov.tr) and technology sponsorship of Turkcell Developers of The Future (https://gelecegiyazanlar.turkcell.com.tr)during the DevFest organized by the GDG Istanbul. HACKATHONIST will be held in Istanbul Technical University at User Experience & Telecom on the Job Training and Test Center on November 1-3, 2013.
Istanbul Mobility API will be available for the HACKATHONIST. Mobility API include Istanbul City’s transportation and the POIs. Besides the Istanbul Mobility APIs, various APIs and real-time data will be available for the creative smart city application to be developed by the participants.
For more information and registration to HACKATHONIST: hackathonist.tumblr.com
As a result, Leyla Arsan concluded her presentation by stating the importance of Open Data Policies in the countries where there is no any Open Data policy in Turkey. On the contrary the act by law 4736 is one of the most importance obstacles to open data for the re-use of public data to public.
During his presentation, of Okan Erhan Oflaz – Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, GIS Dept. General Manager, was stated that they have worked on the standardization of data within the INSPIRE Project (http://inspire.jrc.ec.europa.eu/index.cfm/pageid/48) which is the infrastructure for spatial information in the European Community. As a result of the studies he said that a portal on spatial data of Turkey is prepared and will be opened soon where data will be shared.
The discussions started at this point where the “opening data” perception differs between people where it was proved during the discussion that the true understanding of the open data was not yet matured in Turkey. The government is selling data and thinks that not all data can be opened. The description of open data was not clear enough and authorities were confused with the meaning of open data with individual data. Thus, Mathias Reddmann the European Commission representative which was taking place in the panel, described clearly the main difference between open data which is public data and not including individuals data.
As a conclusion, the panel was very effective by means of discussions and increasing awareness.
Leyla Arsan, October 21, 2013