Manchester’s big open data project

CityVerve in Manchester

What happens when a city decides to make its data available to others to use easily? You get Manchester’s CityVerve.

CityVerve’s ‘platform of platforms’ treats the city as a living breathing organism by giving it a technology layer that acts as a central nervous system, smartly supporting and connecting independent systems and applications. It is the Internet of Things (IoT) working today.

Opportunities for projects are being identified to specifically meet the needs and challenges of Manchester’s citizens. CityVerve is needs driven and benefit-led. It focuses on four key areas: Health & Social Care, Energy & Environment, Travel & Transport, Culture & Public Realm.

There is evidence that projects are already delivery benefits. They say it’s about enabling a real community;
using technology to enrich the local experience for residents, businesses and tourists.

This is where, for me, it gets exciting…it’s about open innovation. Manchester City Council says, quite rightly, that collaboration is essential for innovation. That’s why CityVerve has run open calls and events offering challenges, opportunities and APIs to developers and innovators from all walks of life.

CityVerve is being delivered by a consortium of 21 organisations, including:

  • Manchester City Council
  • Manchester Science Partnerships
  • University of Manchester
  • Cisco
  • BT
  • and other tech players.
  • The project is also backed by Government and Innovate UK.

Look at this list of current projects: cityverve.org.uk/project/travel-and-transport/  They include:

  • Talkative Bus System
  • City Concierge
  • Road Safety
  • Sensing Trams
  • Smart Traffic Monitoring
  • Smart Parking.

Wishful thinking, but I look forward to my local council, Reading Borough Council, embarking on this type of initiative.

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