Find City Solutions with the CxC Catalogue
When the Open & Agile Smart City network (OASC) asked its city members in 2018 what they were looking for in a new service, they asked for something that would help them find other city solutions and to showcase theirs. On 13 January 2021, OASC launches the CITYxCITY catalogue, a marketplace for city solutions from all over the world.
The world map is dotted with fascinating city initiatives, but they are not always easy to find. TheCITYxCITY (CxC) Catalogue from OASC aims to remedy that. OASC stands for Open and Agile Smart Cities. It is an international network that wants to bring smart cities and communities together to further their digital transformation journey. In addition to their CxC Festival and CxC Academy, OASC now launches the CxC Catalogue.
For cities, by cities
The CxC Catalogue contains city profiles, case studies of how a city problem was solved using technology and specifications of the products that were used. The content is provided by cities themselves, validated in context and approved. Solutions need to be at TRL (technology readiness level) 5 and above. “We are looking to showcase deployed solutions only,” says service designer John Lynch, who has been working on the catalogue for over a year. “And cities are in charge of the content.”
Search for solutions
The CxC Catalogue was built because OASC members expressed a need for it. A major part of the service design process included interviewing customers and suppliers about their needs, explains Lynch. “When interviewing city stakeholders from municipalities of different sizes, I often heard that one of their major problems was cities experimenting on the same things. It is hard for cities to find out what is already being done and what solutions are already deployed and working elsewhere.” For example, John spoke to a representative of a city where 25,000 street lights have to be replaced. “They would love to know how other cities have handled this and what new technologies they used. They just did not know where to start looking.”
Platform for businesses
Another issue that came up during the research had to do with local business and city procurement. “Local businesses have great ideas, but these are usually only sold to local municipalities. They cannot be found outside their own region,” says John. He often heard business-owners express bewilderment or frustration about the municipal procurement process, and that it may cause business to move away from cities. “That is such a shame, as businesses would love to be found and showcase the actual deployment of their products and services.”
City, solution, product
The catalogue is structured in three layers. At the top of the hierarchy are the cities and their profiles. The second level shows the solutions deployed in those cities and the third describes the products that were used in those solutions, alongside their specifications. “There is never a solution with just one product,” says John. “It is extremely rare. It is much more usual for there to be sensors and actuators, an analytics platform, a communications technology, even new policies. Policies can also be part of the solution. And if a city does not like a product that was used in a particular solution, they can search the catalogue for other, similar products.”
OASC wants the CxC Catalogue to become the main marketplace for city solutions, with a place for regional and local marketplaces. Not by swallowing existing market places whole, but by connecting them. Lynch: “We have already included the 100 Intelligent Cities Challenge. Eventually, this could become the overall market place with windows into local market places, like an Ireland catalogue, a European catalogue or a catalogue of solutions using interoperable standards.”
For interested cities, content can be submitted here.
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