Novi Sad city, with close to 400.000 inhabitants, is a regional centre for the ICT industry with a thriving ecosystem of small to medium size ICT companies, representing one of the most successful economic sectors. Building on this expertise, the city administration has put in place a number of strategic plans which aim to create a smart and sustainable environment in which ICT innovations feature heavily with the active involvement of citizens in the (re)definition of city services and their continuous improvement. Another important aspect that is being taken into consideration is the need to leverage the vast amount of data the city owns – about the city infrastructure, events, etc. which is currently stored, but is not used to its full capacity.
To achieve these goals, the city decided to leverage several technologies:
- cloud technology to optimize ICT infrastructure used by different public administration departments providing services to the citizens.
- crowd sourcing to engage citizens in improving and enhancing everyday management of the city.
- open data to enable third parties and in particular local SMEs to build new solutions and services on top of the data available in the city databases.
The city’s agency for economic development in collaboration with Informatika, a publicly owned company responsible for the development and maintenance of the city’s ICT infrastructure and services has identified a number of services that could potentially have high impact on the quality of the life in the city.
The potential of open data was analysed together with DunavNET and representatives of the ICT Vojvodina cluster which represent a large number of ICT focused companies in the region. Further input was obtained from the FP7 SocIoTal project which ran a series of workshops engaging citizens and using the co-creation design process to identify novel services of interest to the general population.
Target services that will form the basis of the CLIPS Pilots
- Registration of private and legal entities into the system of payment collection of utility-housing products and services
- Registering and cancelling alternative billing address for unified collection
- Voluntary home insurance administration
- Registering the number of residents in an apartment/house (for calculation of payment for common utilities)
- Filing an electronic inspection or communal complaint
- Finding a school in an area
- Mash-up and visualization of open data.
Public Authorities: have the overall responsibility for all services that are piloted and is the ultimate owner of the data that is going to be made available through open data interfaces.
SME participation: SMEs are users of piloted services (for example when moving offices), but more important is their role in leveraging open data provided by the city and developing novel applications on top of it.
Citizen participation: Citizens will be engaged as service consumers and contributors of data. As service consumers, citizens use piloted services according to their own needs. As contributors of data, citizens provide information to the public authority in order to improve certain public services (for example to highlight specific problems in the city that need attention) through applications like myNS (my Novi Sad).
In Phase 1, the CLIPS Novi Sad Pilot has available services:
1. Utility Bills
Account access to unified collection of bills in the public utility company “JKP Informatika“ is at www.clips.dunavnet.eu.
This service allows users from Novi Sad to check their bills. Also, and this is a novel, it allows users to change the number of household members online and their bills will automaticaly adjust to the number of household members.
Another new service is the option to review the public utilities in the streets of Novi Sad in a very simple way, just by visiting www.clips.dunavnet.eu/AddressEquipment
2. Utility Failure Reporting
The second service that CLIPS pilot provides to the citizens of Novi Sad is the application MojNS that enables utility failures reporting as well as monitoring the status of the report in real time.
The app is available on Google Play:
3. Open Data
The Open Data service enables the citizens to access the data that city of Novi Sad has in its database via the portal: www.ckan-clips.dunavnet.eu
In phase 2, the following has been achieved:
- myNS was replicated in the municipalities of Odzaci and Bac (Serbia). In addition to the functionality that was available in Phase 1, the following was added: all submissions done by citizens are published as open data on the city’s open data portal.
- City open data portal: in addition to the information about community infrastructure that was available in Phase 1, myNS data is made available as well. Further to this, a simple web application for visualization of myNS submissions is now implemented. SMASH tool was used to build an example web app that leverages CKAN data to visualize information about available communal infrastructure in different parts of the city
- Unified billing: Identity management was updated based on the feedback received from Phase 1.
In addition to this, a number of promotional activities were undertaken in order to raise awareness about available smart city services and attract citizens to join the activities.