African Urban Matters - African Ideas - Connected Cities


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Presentation at the first African Urban Matters: Cities of the Future event in Cape Town, South Africa from 14-15 November 2013 which was held in collaboration with African Ideas.

According to UN-HABITAT, the population in some cities will increase by almost 85% over the next 10 years. This startling fact means that a multitude of problems are arising due to rapid urbanisation spiralling.

As Africa becomes increasingly urbanized with thousands of people flocking to all major hubs - where the urban population was about 36% in 2010, it is projected to increase to 50% and 60% by 2030 and 2050 respectively - and the continent’s rapidly growing middle-class is insisting upon more of a saying how their cities are run, it is becoming crucial to relook models of engagement with citizens and their urban planning methodologies and efficiencies.

Local government organisations, which are already under incredible pressure are facing increasing challenges in providing basic services, let alone the requirements of the future. Relooking these models is also an opportunity to innovate and promote both transparency and efficiencies.

SAP designed its global Urban Matters program in response to these challenges, with the goal to improve people's lives. The program comprises a collection of SAP ICT solutions specifically aimed at helping government organisations of all sizes simply run better.

During this event being hosted in the beautiful Mother City of Cape Town, South Africa, expect to be involved in thought-provoking sessions and discussions with global and local urban development experts and best-in-class cities, to find out how ICT solutions have helped them to create significantly better cities.

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  • For the first time ever, the majority of the world's population lives in a city, and this proportion continues to grow. One hundred years ago, 2 out of every 10 people lived in an urban area. By 1990, less than 40% of the global population lived in a city, but as of 2010, more than half of all people live in an urban area. By 2030, 6 out of every 10 people will live in a city, and by 2050, this proportion will increase to 7 out of 10 people. 
  • Leveraging information to make better decisionCities are amazing places. Inter-connected systems, etc. Lots of effort has been put on administration and enabling the organisations (operations). ExamplesBut it has been an inside out view. What’s coming, is that we need to take more cognisance of the outside in view.Presentation structured in two partsFirst part is on what we did in the last decade – effectiveness and efficiency within the enterpriseSecond part is on what is coming
  • Interconnected Systems and the “internet of things” or what Gartner has been calling the Internet of everything in this conferenceIn the future everything in a city, from the electricity grid, to the sewer pipes to roads, buildings and cars will be connected to the network. Buildings will turn off the lights for you, self-driving cars will find you that sought-after parking space and even the rubbish bins will be smart. The city becomes a living laboratory for smart technologies that can handle all major systems - water, transport, security, garbage, green buildings, clean energy, and more.We already know a lot about CCTV cameras being deployed for traffic management and safety & security. Increasingly intelligent sensors are being deployed for a wide range of city related services traffic management, dam level monitoring, environmental monitoring, pollution management, fire detection, electricity grid management, busses, etc.In Birmingham, lamp-posts are being fitted with sensors. In Norway, more than 40,000 bus stops are connected and even tweet. In Cape Town, usage of inner city parking bays are monitored via a wireless network that knows when the bay is empty and when it is being used, how long your car has been parked in a parking bay, etc. Potentially, you could be directed to empty parking bays as you enter the city. The data to do this already exists. At MIT's Senseable City Lab, 5,000 pieces of rubbish in Seattle were geo-tagged and tracked around the country for three months to find out whether recycling was really efficient. The so-called internet of things offers a new way to analyse and measure city life, from whether water pipes are leaking to how traffic is flowing on the roads and whether buildings are using energy in the most efficient way. And this data can be used in different ways.Rio is often used as an example of an emergent smart city of the future. Rio is set to to experience the full glare of the worldwide media in the next few years as it plays host to both the Football World Cup in 2014, followed by the Olympic Games two years later. It has built a Nasa-style control room where banks of screens suck up data from sensors and cameras located around the city. This means that officials from across the city can now collaborate to manage the movement of traffic and public transportation systems, while also ensuring that power and water supplies work more efficiently. A coordinated response can be rolled out in the event of a crisis, such as collapsing building. Transport systems can be shut down, emergency services mobilised and gas supplies can be cut off, while citizens can be informed of alternative routes via Twitter.China is busy building dozens of new cities and is starting to adopt huge control rooms like the one in Rio.However, there are differences in opinion on this. Andrew Hudson-Smith, director of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College, London says that while a lot of the big technology firms are looking at the control room model, this is backward thinking. "Why put the technology in one room when you can put it in the hands of everyone?" he has asks.He and his team have created a city dashboard as part of plans to make London smarter. Like Rio's control room, the dashboard collates data such as pollution, weather and river levels. But it also looks at some things that Rio doesn't - such as what is trending on Twitter and how happy the city is.A version of the dashboard is hooked up on a wall of iPads in the office of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. They claim that this as powerful as the large scale control room but significantly cheaper. But more importantly, there is also a version available on the web, so that the public has the same information as the policy-makers and that has the potential to be incredibly powerful.And this leads me into the next key issue which deals with the Internet of users and the social web.
  • Big things affecting the cities of the futureInternet of thingsInterconnected systems – big dataTalk about the powerful systems that users are developingThey are doing it themselves – eg. of city GIS and Google Maps/ Bing, etc.Metering systems in the house – generating their own data, getting instant feedback, etc.
  • Big data or Big brother (power & control)Big data is very important, and is going to be very valuable. This is a major theme of this conference. Big data is often referred to as the “new oil” or the “Oil of the internet age”. And this is potentially a very valuable analogy. We also understand that in the fast moving consumer goods environment that the monetisation of this data is of paramount importance. And yet it is precisely this “new oil” analogy and slides such as this one that concern civic activists.
  • In a lot of the technology company literature on smart cities, City inhabitants are “mainly addressed as consumers rather than as citizens”. Yes, the city is collecting all this data and they are building services on top of that and some of those services may be handy – but what if you want to do something else, something that’s not provided by the government themselves? If a group of citizens, for example, want to use that data to organise an action group against environmental pollution in their city the answer you get is not quite clear. In Cape Town there was a recent example of a woman who asked for data from a CCTV camera about an accident and was refused. At the moment it seems that the data platform is a closed platform and will be used for government or businesses to build services on top of them.”Anthony Townsend, director of the Institute of the Future and author of Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia has said that "Some people want to fine tune a city like you do a race car but they are leaving citizens out of the process”.This is an age in which very big things can come from massively co-ordinated human activity that doesn’t necessarily get planned from the top down. We need to stop thinking about building smart cities like a mainframe – which is this industry vision – and think about it more like we built the web, as loosely intercoupling networks.What’s clear from the institutional point of view is that the Government now has competition in terms of organising and deciding – citizens can now do an awful lot themselves using new tools which they just couldn’t do before effectively. These are powerful platforms – citizens have toppled governments with these tools (like we have seen in Egypt and the occupy movements). They have real power. And that is the issue - these are two different approaches to building smart cities and they’re playing out in this much bigger struggle over control between people and government/ corporates. The reality is that a bit of both is needed. Some of the big infrastructural or planning decisions still need to be done in the traditional institutional approach, while a lot of other things can be done in a more bottom up or outside in view. We need to have a strategy that has both active government, as well as active citizens. However, this needs quite a radical rethink of the way we operate. Who has access to what, when and how? Who owns the data, how is it managed? How can we share some another’s information? How can privacy and security be maintained? Etc. These are the strategic issues that cities need to be thinking about. And they should be thinking about this together with their citizens.
  • African Urban Matters - African Ideas - Connected Cities

    1. 1. African Ideas for Local Government Nirvesh Sooful CEO, African Ideas African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013
    2. 2. African Ideas – who we are African Ideas is a strategic consultancy helping governments to accelerate the benefits of ICT enabled change through transformation of the public sector and the wider economy. African Ideas brings together people with a track record of success in delivering social, economic and public sector transformation. At the heart of African Ideas is a team that has worked at top global organisations and who led some of the country’s most ambitious and successful programmes of e-transformation. “dropping a stone, or even a drop of water, in a pond causes ripples to emanate from the source, getting bigger and bigger the further away from the source they get. This is a powerful example of small changes causing large and farreaching effects” At African Ideas, we specialise in working with our clients to identify these ‘big lever’ projects – the projects which, when embarked upon, will set the necessary ripples in motion to drive change and transformation throughout an eco-system. In this way we aim to have a profound effect on the society in which we operate. 2 African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 2
    3. 3. More than ever, human life revolves around the city One hundred years ago, less that 20% of people lived in an urban area. By 1990, less than 30% of the global population lived in a city, but as of 2010, more than half of all people live in an urban area. By 2050, this proportion will increase to 70% 3 Source: UN, Department of Economic & Social Affairs, Population Division African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 3
    4. 4. Africa is also rapidly urbanising In the 1950’s the entire continent was pretty much rural Currently around 40% of Africans currently live in urban areas, making Africa more urbanised than India and slightly less urbanised than China. At present, subSaharan Africa is second only to Eastern Asia in terms of the pace of urbanisation Urbanisation rates 2010 - 2015 By 2030 it will be 50% and by 2050, it will be 60% In 2010, there were 94 sub-Saharan Africa cities with a population of more than 500 000 … and in 2025 there will be 144 such cities African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 4
    5. 5. However it is important to understand… Africa is a very large and very complex place with many unique challenges African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 5
    6. 6. And it has a different kind of urbanisation UN's 2010 State of African Cities report observes that “experience shows that across the world, urbanisation has been associated with improved human development, rising incomes and better living standards,” but warns that rapid urbanisation can be more of a burden than an opportunity for Africa. “Socio-economic conditions in African cities are now the most unequal in the world”. This situations threatens stability, affecting not only the continuity of cities as socio-political human ecosystems but also entire nations. $93 Billion of investment is required annually for infrastructure - water, electricity, sanitation, irrigation, transport and ICT African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 6
    7. 7. And this is why technology has to play a key role With the challenges that we have, we need efficient and cost effective government as all available resources need to be spent on dealing with the massive infrastructure backlogs that we have. One of the challenges that we have seen in South Africa, is the burgeoning cost of government administration, without the necessary investment in infrastructure – this is a very dangerous position. Technology can help. In fact, it is the only real answer. We need to increase our investment in effective technology so that we can reduce the cost of running government. SAP African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 7
    8. 8. Cities are amazing places The city is a microcosm of the major challenges and opportunities facing the planet today—intensified and accelerated. Here, all man-made systems come together and interact with one another. Electricity - distribution & retail Primary health care Economic & Social Development Emergency Services Municipal Policing Roads, Stormwater & Transport Sport & Recreation Opportunity City Administration Public Housing Urban Planning & Environment Water & Sanitation - storage, treatment & distribution The information/ ICT challenge Inclusive Community Services Solid Waste / landfill, removal & area cleaning • Leveraging information to make better decisions • Anticipating problems to resolve them proactively • Co-ordinating resources to operate effectively African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 8
    9. 9. Key objectives of an ICT enablement strategy within the context of a developmental state Citizens and businesses Target: Target: Target: Government employees & elected politicians Citizens Society & the economy Foundation Efficient and Effective Administration Improved Governance and Customer Service Social and Economic Development Leadership & Strategy Enabling policy and regulatory environment Core/ strategic infrastructure Appropriate Institutional Model (for delivery) African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 9
    10. 10. Many of the issues that we were facing then, still plague local government in SA today • Lack of / Poor service delivery (water, sanitation, electricity, refuse removal) • Lack of communication with communities • Corruption and Nepotism • Financial mismanagement and Maladministration • Outstanding debt payments for municipal services • Lack of capacity – poor project planning, poor management and/or underspending by municipalities • Government officials who spend time focusing on their personal business interests at the expense of service delivery. • Violation of MFMA & Supply Chain Mgt - results in tender irregularities, fuels corruption, erodes confidence in municipal leadership and compromises service delivery. • Poverty and unemployment A REPORT ON THE CURRENT ‘SERVICE DELIVERY PROTESTS’ IN SOUTH AFRICA. Commissioned by the House Chairperson Committees, Oversight and ICT, Parliament of South Africa, 2009 African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 10
    11. 11. Cities of the future: key issues • Interconnected Systems and the “internet of things” • Connected Citizens • Big Data Source: Bosch Internet of Things and Services Lab 11 11 African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 11
    12. 12. 12 African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 12
    13. 13. Connected Citizens 13 African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 13
    14. 14. Connected Citizens: Impact of Mobile Global rank 49 55 56 60 62 65 69 76 77 82 Country Ghana Zimbabwe Namibia Egypt South Africa Cape Verde Mauritius Botswana Sudan Libya Penetration rate 33.3% 29.7% 28.8% 26.9% 26% 22.5% 21.5% 16.6% 16.4% 13.8% Source: ITU As Dr. Yonah (previous Director: ITC at Tanzania’s Ministry of Communications) says, “the proof is in the adverts”. He points out that data is being bundled even if people might not want it. Because they can & it so cheap. 900 Tanzanian Shilling = R5.80 or US$0.56 African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 14
    15. 15. Technology and Culture This technological solution even deals with an issue of urbanisation – how do you maintain a traditional culture in an urban context where space is at a premium African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 15
    16. 16. Empowered Citizens (who have having powerful platforms of their own) Impact of cheap consumer grade sensor technology and connected citizens Offers unprecedented opportunities for comanagement of cities – given our infrastructure backlog an instrument that measures the happiness of large populations in real time 16 16 African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 16
    17. 17. Big data (as a result of 1 trillion things, all generating data) Source: CISCO 17 African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 17
    18. 18. Big Data - Big issues to be resolved Big data or Big brother (power & control) Access (usage rights & obligations) Open data information transparency Privacy Security Source:http://www.slidesha 18 African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 Ethics Etc. 18
    19. 19. Conclusion Africa is rapidly urbanising – like the rest of the world This could be an opportunity or challenge for us Across the world, urbanisation has been associated with improved human development, rising incomes and better living standards, However currently socio-economic conditions in African cities are the most unequal in the world. Our infrastructure backlogs are scary. Traditional methods and traditional approaches are not going to work. We need to do things radically different. ICT offers great promise and potential to look at innovative ways if managing and governing cities. However ICT on its own will not do this – need an effective and integrated strategy that looks at people, processes and technology across society African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 19
    20. 20. African Ideas and the African Centre for Cities • About the ACC • The African Centre for Cities (ACC) was established at the University of Cape Town in 2007. It is an interdisciplinary research institute that facilitates critical urban research and policy discourse for the promotion of vibrant, democratic and sustainable urban development in the global South from an African perspective. The ACC works at local, national, Africa and global scales. • ACC’s research programme on Cape Town is called the CityLab programme. Initiated in 2008 as an interdisciplinary applied research programme for learning from the experience of Cape Town. The programme provides a dedicated, university based but multi-partner research process to investigate urban dynamics in the region. The programme is organised around a number of key themes, each of which has a lifespan of around three year. Current themes include Climate Change, Healthy Cities, Green/ Sustainable Cities • African Ideas is working with the ACC to develop an African focussed lab (based on the City Lab and Living Labs concept) focussing on technology and urbanisation. • We would welcome the Cities and the vendors here to engage/ partner with us around this very important initiative. African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 20
    21. 21. Thank you Contact information: Nirvesh Sooful CEO: African Ideas African Urban Matters: 14-15 November 2013 21