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Future Insight and the municipality of Rotterdam start developing a unique Open Urban Platform

Updated: Jan 22

The Municipality of Rotterdam and software provider Future Insight are joining forces to develop a unique Open Urban Platform. After an intensive period, Future Insight and partner Capgemini emerged from the European tendering process as the winning party to develop, launch, operate and further develop the Open Urban Platform with Digital Twin. Both parties are entering into an agreement for the next ten years.


Besides the physical reality, in which we find ourselves every day, we have to deal with a new, digital reality. A reality in which digitization and data play a major role and which are inextricably linked to social and physical reality. The City of Rotterdam is investigating the opportunities and threats of digitalization on the new reality of the city, now and in the future. It is looking at the role and needs of residents, entrepreneurs, visitors and its own wishes and tasks. Roland van der Heijden, municipal program manager Digital City, is very much looking forward to a great collaboration "We can now start making the Rotterdam of tomorrow together."


Digital ecosystem provides helping hand

The municipality faces major challenges such as; sustainability, climate change, inclusiveness, mobility and housing. In this regard, data are very important raw materials for the city of tomorrow.


A digital ecosystem in which data can flow between all participants and new applications can be developed and implemented for the benefit of these tasks offers a helping hand. This requires a digital infrastructure based on new insights and technologies and new forms of collaboration. The Open Urban Platform will be the central element in the development of the digital infrastructure. A place for residents, businesses and institutions where everyone can come together to meet.


Smart applications and services thanks to 3D model with real-time data

Imagine a 3D model of all of Rotterdam. In it are all the fixed physical objects, such as houses, trees, benches, etc. In the Open Urban Platform, this 3D model is supplemented with "live" (i.e., real time) data, allowing you to see how the city is functioning: is the garbage can full, how many cars are driving down my street and what is the air quality? This will soon provide all Rotterdammers, companies and institutions with a basis for using all kinds of smart applications and services.


In the Digital Twin, for example, you can see whether there is room in a parking space. You can go through a permit process faster because you can immediately see what is allowed and what is not. But also, for example - even before a pile goes into the ground - experience what that new residential tower does to your sunlight.

All these smart applications will contribute to making Rotterdam more beautiful, more livable, more resilient and more robust.


To make this possible, Rotterdam is starting to develop an Open Urban Platform (OUP) with the Zwolle-based company Future Insight. This is the underlying digital infrastructure that ensures that we in Rotterdam are digitally connected and can exchange data from a shared reality (the Digital Twin) of Rotterdam. The platform is fed by various data sources and enables data sharing.


Step by step, the platform will be built and rolled out over the next few years. In doing so, Future Insight and the municipality of Rotterdam will enter into discussions with other organizations within and outside the municipality of Rotterdam to make the platform a success.


Growing together

From the beginning, the goal is to work with as many parties as possible to grow the Open Urban Platform. As such, the parties are calling on other municipalities and governments, businesses and other parties to join, which will allow the ecosystem to have more and more positive impact.


Open data standards

The Open Urban Platform will be developed entirely with flexible technical components (MIMs) connected through established open interfaces (PPIs). This will make the platform very flexible, secure, open and scalable. Suppliers and producers of both data and software services can start connecting when they also use this open approach and standards. Thus, all kinds of smart future tools can start to be linked, minimizing the risk of vendor lock-in.


Safety and reliability are paramount

Obviously, it is very important that data is well protected and that there is a digital environment where people feel at home. Trust is important here. Confidence in the infrastructure offered, but also of the participants in each other. This is why the municipality strives for responsible operation. This means that an independent Governance Board will be set up to oversee this responsible operation. This concerns in particular the handling of ethical and privacy-sensitive matters.


Want to know more?

Want to know more about this collaboration or about the Open Urban Platform? Please contact Bas Hoorn.

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