Smart City challenges and benefits
With the Smart City, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole plans to focus its priorities on three complementary objectives: supporting economic development, better coordinating and optimizing various urban services, and involving local citizens to set the stage for the sustainable city.
The Big Data concept is an important part of Montpellier’s project, combining convergence, crossing data from different sources, and sharing information to bring about new solutions for new challenges, specifically for:
- Citizens, users, and consumers
- The local economy
- Territorial attractiveness
- Montpellier Métropole’s international positioning
- Accompanying societal changes
Acknowledged by France’s Sustainable City Plan, which was launched by the French government in 2009 to bring about a new urban development model, the EcoCité program extends from Montpellier to the sea. This territory represents an immense living laboratory that concentrates all the issues facing Smart Cities. A complete ecosystem is being implemented, leveraging a collaboration-oriented data platform.
Dual goals of EcoCité
Invent new services by sharing information, and promote economic growth through innovation.
Covering 2,500 hectares, linking Castelnau-le-Lez with the sea, passing through Montpellier, Lattes and Pérols, this space concentrates today's major urban issues, including: transportation (with tramway lines 1 and 3 and the future TGV train station), energy (with experiments being conducted in urban sectors), health (with the future gerontology cluster in Castelnau-le-Lez and an independent health project in Lattes), flooding (in the Lez River valley), housing and shops (with an ambitious renovation project along Avenue de la Mer), and various tertiary activities.
Three major projects
Three major projects are based on data collected in the EcoCité territory. These projects involve transportation and mobility, hydraulic network control, and risk and hazard warning management. New urban services will be developed to continue this effort for research, experimentation, and coordination.
“Multi-mode transportation and mobility” project: streamlining travel
“EcoCité Remote Monitoring” project: improving hydraulic network management
“Transversal risk management” project: optimizing decision-making
In January 2015, Montpellier Métropole launched a nationwide call-for-ideas to encourage and facilitate the creation of innovative urban services. As part of the call-for-ideas, Montpellier Métropole made the data collected in the EcoCité territory available to candidate companies. The four winners produced innovative applications with high added value.
These companies are Tweetping.net (citizenship and multi-purpose), Faciligo (mobility and solidarity), Senior@Home (health and seniors), and Hurry Up (mobility).
The Big Data Challenge
In May 2014, the French government launched the Big Data Challenge to encourage companies to leverage data made available to them in order to develop technology solutions, new uses or services, and business models adapted to the Smart City. In the Spring of 2015, the Montpellier and Rennes metropolises, in cooperation with the Images & Networks competitiveness cluster, and their respective partners IBM and Dassault Systems, were commissioned to select challenges in various fields. Designated in October, the candidates have 6 to 9 months to develop innovative applications and services.
4 of the 8 selected projects are from Montpellier: Faciligo, Water Brain, Smart Flow for the City, and NOAM.