Smart Cities project to increase the life quality of 15 million Istanbulites

Published 15.05.2017 00:00
Updated 21.05.2017 20:37
Smart Cities project to increase the life quality of 15 million Istanbulites

With the ongoing studies in functional areas such as urban management, economy, mobility, environment and social life, the Smart Cities project aims to take Istanbul to upper levels in all areas of life

While three out of four people in Turkey resided in rural areas in the 1950s, today people mostly migrate from rural areas to cities, especially Istanbul. Istanbul, which had about 5 percent of Turkey's population in 1935, now hosts 18 percent of Turkey's population, meaning that one in every five people in Turkey lives in Istanbul.

How can Istanbul, one of the most crowded cities in the world, be a more livable and comfortable city? As one of the key solutions for this problem that city managers are trying to answer, we can show the integrated use of information and communication technologies to provide services that touch citizens in our city more efficiently. With its ever-growing and evolving structure, Istanbul always prioritizes a transformative approach to make change and modernization consistent and sustainable via the perspective of new generation governance information and communication technologies.

These technologies ensure that the needs of both citizens and managers are met more efficiently in areas that involve urban life, such as transportation, administration and environment. To provide more sustainable and viable cities for citizens, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality calls the family of technology-supported systems in all areas of urban life "Smart City." In this context, İBB's affiliate ISBAK (Istanbul Informatics and Smart City Technologies Inc.) is realizing "Smart Cities," the vision project of Istanbul and the İBB. With this project, ISBAK aim to take the city to upper levels in all areas of life with continuing studies in functional focus areas such as management, economy, mobility, environment, human and life.

Given the dynamics developing regarding the city within the scope of the vision of Smart City and ever changing with that perspective that prioritizes human, the needs that has been mentioned below are of great importance in city life:

Facilitating access to public services,

Providing high quality health and care services to the elderly and those in need in the comfort of their homes,

Providing support to entrepreneurs for faster results and creating experience and incubation centers,

Providing faster and more comfortable transportation from home to work and from work to home (door-to-door) and shortening the length of intra-city travel,

Encouraging the use of alternative energy sources and reducing the carbon footprint in the city,

Ensuring reliable, cost-effective and efficient resource management to strengthen a growing economy,

Presenting real-time city data to entrepreneurs, citizens and students through open data platforms,

Increasing the mobility of people with disabilities and contributing to their social access.

In an interview with Daily Sabah, ISBAK General Manager Muhammed Alyürük shared his insights and ISBAK's investment plans for the upcoming period.

Daily Sabah: What is the importance and benefit of mobility for Istanbul?

Muhammed Alyürük: We can say that the IBB allocates a large part of its investments to transportation and transportation projects, and the biggest share of transportation investments is composed of new metro projects. In addition, to ensure the mobility of all citizens living in Istanbul, many projects are carried out simultaneously in both individual and public transportation in the field of Intelligent Transportation. Continuous traffic flow, efficient use of road network capacity, and traffic's monitoring, control, management and supervision in real time from a single center 24/7 are ensured with Traffic Management in individual transportation. For this, while traffic is managed with 2,159 remote control and intelligent signaling systems, which are installed in different points of Istanbul, traffic is instantly monitored with 486 radar sensors (Traffic Measurement System), 413 Bluetooth sensors (Travel Time Calculation Sensors) and close to 1,000 traffic cameras.

Data collected by sensors and cameras are transformed into traffic information via data analysis and transmitted to users via digital platforms, such as variable messaging systems (DMS), web/mobile applications and radio at various points of the city. Besides, we also use 441 Electronic Monitoring Systems (EDS), 11 of which are mobile, for more secure traffic flow. In addition to these existing systems, we are successively realizing many new projects. The Navigational Application (İBBNavi), which will be realized soon and expected to become one of the indispensable applications of our citizens in the Marmara region, will offer both public transportation and private vehicle travel options in real time.

We are also planning pilot projects for smart vehicles and smart road applications using innovative solutions such as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication (V2V-V2I) technologies and aim to put them into service in the near future. While vehicles are monitored in real time with fleet tracking systems, data is processed to provide passengers with information via in-vehicle information systems and web/mobile applications. While these projects are carried out in the operation part, in the planning part, on the other hand, it aims to utilize existing infrastructure and investments made most efficiently by means of Traffic Demand Management, such as congestion charging, high occupancy vehicle lane (HOV) and flexible working hours. Various strategies will be developed to manage the travel demand of Istanbulites, and with these strategies, the aim is to increase the attractiveness of public transportation that meets the passengers' need for transportation more efficiently, environmentally and safely.

D.S.: Which of the current technologies will ISBAK invest in in 2017?

M.A.: In collaboration with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, we have launched the journey of Smart City Istanbul to bring Istanbul into the future and realize projects to increase the life quality of 15 million Istanbulites living in the city and 12.5 million visitors in terms of competition, sustainability and viability.

We regard the work of Smart City not as a project but as a journey because Istanbul, which is one of the top 25 brand cities in the world, will reveal both its brand value and difference among livable cities in the near future with integrated work and co-operation carried out throughout this journey. Covering a wide range from corporate organization to structuring, from transportation to energy, from security to social services and environmentalism, Smart City applications will facilitate the lives of city dwellers.

We have been pursuing how we can facilitate the lives of people living in the city with the slogan "Smart City's Architecture" in accordance with the mission of Smart City, which we have shouldered as İSBAK A.Ş.; thus, we closely follow the new generation technologies specified below and continue to include them on our agenda in line with our investment plans. As ISBAK, we are gradually expanding our country's first and only licensed R&D center in the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems to include Smart City solutions. We support the establishment of ecosystems that support development of domestic and national solutions, and we are trying to include domestic SMEs and entrepreneurial companies in this ecosystem. As of 2017, our main fields of activity that we focus on under the heading Smart City Planning are as follows:

Cloud Computing and Hybrid Cloud Technologies

Large Data Storage, Large Data Analysis and Large Data Processing Technologies

Open Data Services and Integrations

Business Intelligence and Decision Support Systems Technologies

The Internet of Things and M2M Technologies

Cyber Security and NOC / SOC Technologies

Mobile Communication Technologies - 5G

Augmented and Virtual Reality Technologies

Wearable Technologies

Deep Learning Systems

We are in search of how we can turn all of these technologies into service and benefit with which practices in the city life. With the fast-gaining projects we realize in 2017, we will bring the first examples of these technologies into our city under the guidance of the İBB.

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