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Data Culture, Risk and Intelligent Cities

By: Marco Peres, Director of the Observatory of society, government and information technologies - Externado de Colombia University

*The articles that are published in this section are academic publications whose ownership belongs to their authors and do not imply the assignment of patrimonial rights of author in favor of the CAP4CITY Project, its members or third parties.

Abstract- The concept of intelligent city is generating reflections on issues that until now were not a priority for local actors. The notion of intelligent city questions us about how we have planned the operation of the municipalities, provinces and regions; managed the inputs, goods and natural resources linked to the logistic and expulsion chains of the territory, and how we have integrated innovation to solve local problems.

The smart city is the social, informational and technological formula that, applied rigorously and sensibly, can prevent urban spaces from becoming a broken glass that does not have the capacity to support the weight and demands of current and future inhabitants of the territory, in addition to compromising the integrity and viability of the ecosystems that support its operation. The intelligent city is a powerful and achievable notion because it is a starting point and not a point of arrival, as is the case with the fuzzy and distant ideal called the sustainable city.

 One of the causes -perhaps the most important one- that today prevents building intelligent cities is the inability of local governments to face territorial problems with quality data that allow to manage, in a timely and efficient way, urban risks or uncertain events. faced by governments, companies and citizens in their daily activities, as well as the new risks associated with the use of Information and Communication Technologies.

The culture of the data is a response to this state of spatial uncertainty, insofar as it allows knowing the nature, characteristics and functioning of urban territories and green territories linked to cities, in addition to collecting and analyzing information required to plan and manage activities in all sectors of the city.

The existence of a culture of data can lead to a better and faster decision making by local actors, the effective management of urban risks, a greater knowledge of cities, the commission of fewer errors in public management and, ultimately, improve the relationship with the citizen.

Next, we will present some reflections on how data culture and risk management can help in the design, planning and dreaming of an intelligent city. These reflections will be generated from these two questions:

1) Are cities using data and technology to manage traditional urban risks?

2) Are the cities ready to face the new risks arising from the automation and connectivity processes?

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