Smart city control centers: Nice, France the latest to get a city "dashboard"

Tue, 2013-06-25 09:45 -- Jesse Berst

You'll spot several important trends in the release below. For one, Nice, France is rapidly becoming a smart city hotspot, through a series of commercial partnerships combined with federal and local government support. For another, a smart city is rarely a city. It may be a neighborhood, district, industrial park or military base. Or it may be an agglomeration of many communities. In this example, the data generated through powerful analytics will be shared not just with Nice, but with the 46 other municipalities that make up the greater metropolitan region. For another, unified control centers -- sometimes called "city dashboards" -- are becoming a key symbol of the smart city. IBM calls its version the IBM Intelligent Operations Center and plans to implement it in Nice. - Jesse Berst

France's Nice Cote d'Azur Region Taps IBM to Help Build a Smarter, Sustainable City


ARMONK, N.Y. and PARIS, June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM and the Nice Cote d'Azur region of France, announced an agreement to build a new information infrastructure to help the city in its efforts to become a more intelligent, sustainable city. IBM also underscored its ongoing commitment in the region.

Through better use of data and information sharing, as well as a new research and development project, the City plans to put in place the technical foundation to improve mobility and transportation, environmental quality, energy efficiency and reduce risk. Improvements in each of these areas are expected to help enhance services to citizens making the city more livable, while providing better sources of information to boost economic development for local business.

The area is one of 13 EcoCite' zones designated by the French government, an area dedicated to eco-friendly urban planning. The four million Euro agreement with IBM will help support this transformation to a Smarter City and foster urban innovation, including the creation of new sources of information and open applications designed in collaboration with local business.

"We are proud to be part of a research and development project for the Metropole Nice Cote d'Azur," said Christian Estrosi , Metropole Nice Cote d'Azur president. "This will help create employment, drive new innovation and improve the attractiveness of the region for citizens and business alike."

IBM smart cities intelligent operations center

As part of the project, the IBM Intelligent Operations Center (example above) will provide city leaders an intelligent dashboard to harness information in real time so it can be shared across departments and throughout Nice and its 46 municipalities, enabling new levels of collaboration. It uses data visualization and deep analytics that can help agencies prepare for problems, coordinate and manage response efforts and enhance the ongoing efficiency of city operations in order to improve the services offered to citizens. It can also be used to spot patterns or trends and explore scenarios to predict the impact of future events. 

Initially the technology will be used to address the following areas:

Smart mobility - by analyzing massive amounts of transportation-related data and using it to predict and improve traffic flow, driving conditions and mobility can be improved for drivers. The data can also be used to develop new transportation-related services and shared to create new transportation solutions.

Environmental quality - urban monitoring networks will help address environmental issues such as air and water quality and urban noise.

Energy efficiency - data management systems designed to analyze the production, supply and consumption of energy will help reduce environmental impact and create more efficient use of natural resources.

Risk management - systems for gathering and analyzing data associated with potential risk such as weather-related problems or flooding will make it possible to anticipate natural and industrial risks and take preventative action.

This technology initiative is an extension of a bold plan created by city leaders in 2010, designed to advance the City of Nice and improve services for citizens. It also addresses many of the recommendations from the city's participation in the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge.

"By developing a predictive and open data platform for the Metropole Nice Cote d'Azur, IBM is helping build a new model for smart mobility, environmental quality, energy efficiency and risk management. We are honored to be working with Nice and its forward-thinking leaders. Through this contract signature, IBM confirms its dynamic and lasting commitment in this region," said Alain Benichou, president IBM France.

About IBM For more information on IBM Smarter Cities, visit


Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to subscribe to SmartCitiesNow, the weekly newsletter highlighting smart city trends, technologies and techniques.

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