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Medellin Shows How the City Transformed to be A Smart City

来源:UrbanCNet2017年01月20日 15:41 (编辑:一米阳光)

(This article is contributed by the Inter-American Development Bank, CCUD long-term partner.)

Editor’s note:

A city that wishes to become a Smart City should take other world cities that have been successful at this as a point of reference. It should analyze their transportation systems, road infrastructure, and culture, among other aspects, and if possible request the collaboration of outside entities and experts in this area. The case study of Medellin, Colombia shows how the city transformed to be a Smart City.

Medellin, Colombia


Medellin, the capital of the province of Antioquia, has a population of about 2.5 million inhabitants, and isthe second most populous city in Colombia. Medellin is located in the center of the Aburra Valley, in the central Andes Mountain Range. Its land area is 680 km2, and geographically it is situated on a steep plane that is from 1800 to 1500 meters above sea level. The urban area of Medellin is divided into 16 communes and the rural area, which has five townships.

Medellin is a thriving city that represents 7.9 percent of Colombia’s gross domestic product (GDP), with a GDP of US$30.137 million in 2014. In that same year, it grew by 4.2 with a GDP per capita of US$8,489, an even larger growth than other important cities in the world.

Medellin was recognized as the most innovative city in 2013(recognition awarded by the WallStreet Journal, Citi, and the Urban Land Institute) and has become a global referent for international delegations wishing to learn about the transformation processes and outook of a city that wants to be recognized by 2023 as the innovation capital of Latin America.

Overview of the Smart City

Since 2004, it has been implementing strategies to become a Smart City, focusing on the creation of mechanisms of interaction with citizens in the areas of mobility, environment, and public safety. In the 2015 development plan, “Medellin: Unhogar para la vida,” the city is seeking to strengthen public administration, institutions, and the public sphere. This strengthening will be achieved by invigorating participation within a framework of political culture, co responsibility with municipal development, and the strategy of projecting Medellin as a Smart City through technological and social innovation.

Medellin is the only city in Colombia that has a science, technology, and innovation plan, which has identified bases to develop health, energy, and information and communication technology groups.  Likewise, local government plans, such as “Digital Medellin,” whose aim was to get citizens to adopt ICT, have evolved to “MDE: Medellin Smart City,” making Medellin the first city in Colombia with aSmart City-focused government program.

Through the Program, Medellin is implementing projects to create free Internet access zones, community centers where ICT can be accessed, a Mi-Medellin co-creation portal, open data, online transactions, and other services that aim to achieve citizen participation, open government, social innovation in problem solving, and project sustainability.

In this evolution, Medellin has been implementing a series of initiatives with a high degree of technical and social innovation content, integrating services, systems, and technology from each of the secretariats that comprise the Municipal Administration.

The most initiative in the area of innovation and technology is Medellin Smart Mobility System (SIMM). This system consolidated the creation of the Mobility Control Center, the transit records services, the electronic detection of traffic infractions, cameras for traffic monitoring, variable messaging panels, support systems to the traffic light network, and a system for public transportation control, among others, that have made the city a world referent in the areas of integration to improve mobility and reduce accidents.

In the environmental strategy, the Early Warning System (SIATA), the Noise Monitoring Network, and the Air Quality Network combine with the emergency care network to integrate services that are linked.

Added to this are the Integrated Metropolitan Emergency and Security System (SIES-M), a systemic strategy of interinstitutional convergence between the state security apparatus and emergency organizations that integrates citizen security, mobility, and prevention and response to disasters and health and medical emergencies.

As for efficient energy services, Medellin is a pioneering city in Colombia in terms of the quality of public service delivery, with the public company Medellin Public Enterprises ( EPM), offering the highest international quality standards in the services that it provides: electricity, gas by network, water, and sanitation.

Finally, Medellin and the province of Antioquia have implemented a series of public communication strategies with television channels, social network management, integrated procedure portals, and apps. They are contributing to increasing knowledge-based citizen participation and creating public policies.

These initiatives have been continuous since their inception, using operational models that bring together public and private associations and agreements between government entities in different sectors, with the participation of academic institutions and innovation, science, and technological entities.


In the configuration of the Smart City solutions implemented by the city of Medellin, there are three main areas in which services are provided: mobility, security, and environment. Each of these is linked to information systems and communication mechanisms. Following are the technical configurations of each Smart City service.


a- The Integrated Metropolitan Emergency and Security System integrates within a singleoperations center representatives from morethan 10 government agencies and memberentities for emergency response. It connectsthem through the incident response informationsystem known as Subsystem 123 (Positron). Theprocess starts with a report by users through acall, a community alarm, or the network ofcooperators. Once an incident is reported, it isrecorded in the reception modules and processedthrough the competent entity for each case.

b- The Early Warning System integrates information from over 100 sensors in seven different types of networks to capture environmental information. These networks are the hydro-meteorological network, the level sensors network, the soil moisture network, meteorological radar, the accelerograph network, the air quality network, and the river network. Currently, SIATA communicates with the risk management agencies through warnings sent to leaders in the network by text message, email, an app, or direct communication, depending on the urgency of the event.

c- The Mobility Control Center employs ITS technology, logistics monitoring, predictive systems, citizen communication systems, and decentralized services. This control center works within the Mobility Secretariat installations, with technological and physical infrastructure designed to project the control center as a pillar that can integrate even more mobility and city services. Currently, it is integrated with the emergency response system to deal with cases related to traffic incidents, and it has access to the security cameras.The Smart City services that come together in the control center provide the opportunity to monitor and take action in real time.


The SIATA, the SIMM, and the Mobility Control Center have specific indicators to measure the effectiveness of its operations, the impact of the use of devices in the field, and comparators with incidents in previous years.Medellin has an indicator reporting system that measures the city’s management, called the “Medellin comovamos” portal.It is an integrated site that shows administrative results.

Among Medellin’s goals is to become a smart city in the medium term. Some of the benefits of the Medellin Smart City Strategy are presented below:

• 59 percent of Medellin’s population is Internet users thanks to 510 public sites connected to free Internet in the city.

• 59 percent of Medellin’s population is Internet users thanks to 510 public sites connected to free Internet in the city.

• In respect of the environment, In 2014, the concentration of suspended particles in the air smaller than 2.5 (mg/m3) was 17.9 micrograms per cubic meter. This result represents an improvement of 128.5 percent over the goal for 2014.

• 193,840 hours of congestion saved in 2014 as a result of the reduction in response times over 2010 and the traffic accident rate has been reduced significantly.

• In terms of the emergency and response system, eighty percent of calls received in 2014 were responded to, compared to 57 percent in 2013.

• In citizen protection and security, ostensible reduction in the homicide rate, significant reduction in domestic violence,  car thefts and thefts of financial entities,

Not everything along the way has been easy. However, Medellin has shown results. All of the initiatives and strategies have made Medellin a Smart City that is developing capacity and organic structure in the entities that control mobility, the environment, and security. In subsequent phases, Medellin expects to integrate service under a single control center to better serve the citizens.

 

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