THE ARCHITECTURE OF INTELLIGENT CITIES Integrating ... - Urenio

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THE ARCHITECTURE OF INTELLIGENT CITIES Integrating ... - Urenio

THE ARCHITECTURE OF INTELLIGENT CITIESIntegrating human, collective, and artificial intelligence to enhance knowledge and innovationNicos Komninos2 nd International Conference on Intelligent Environments,Institution of Engineering and Technology, Athens, 5-6 July 2006, pp.13-20.Komninos, N. (2006) ‘The Architecture of Intelligent Cities’, Intelligent Environments 06, Institution of Engineeringand Technology, pp. 53-61.ABSTRACTIntelligent communities and cities belong to an emergingmovement targeting the creation of environments thatimprove cognitive skills and abilities to learn andinnovate. They represent environments that enablesuperior cognitive capabilities and creativity to becollectively constructed from combinations of individualcognitive skills and information systems that operate inthe physical, institutional, and digital spaces of cities.Two academic traditions have been feeding thediscussion concerning intelligent communities and cities:the literature on innovative environments and theplanning of digital cities. Following an introduction onthe meaning of ICs, we discuss the structuring ofinnovative environments such as clusters, technologydistricts and territorial systems of innovation, which relyon different architectures of knowledge networksenhancing product, process, and organizationalinnovation. Then we turn to digital cities and examinetheir concept, architecture, and constituent elements. Inthe final section of the paper we describe intelligentcities as overlapping of innovative clusters and digitalcities. Intelligent cities integrate knowledge-intensiveactivities and clusters; embedded routines of social cooperationenabling knowledge sharing and innovation;advanced communication infrastructure and digitalspaces for knowledge and innovation management; andproven ability to innovate and resolve problems thatappear for the first time, since the capacity to innovateand manage uncertainty are critical factors incharacterizing intelligence.INTRODUCTIONThe term ‘intelligent city’ (IC) has been used withvarious meanings. At least four different descriptions ofwhat an intelligent city is can be found in the literature:• ICs have been frequently defined as virtualreconstructions of cities, as virtual cities. The termhas been used interchangeably as an equivalent of‘digital city’, ‘information city’, 'wired city','telecity', ‘knowledge-based city', ‘electroniccommunities’, 'electronic community spaces','flexicity', ‘teletopia', 'cyberville', covering a widerange of electronic and digital applications relatedto digital spaces of communities and cities (1).• Another meaning was given by the WorldFoundation for Smart Communities, which linksdigital cities with smart growth, a developmentbased on information and commnicationtechnologies. ‘A Smart Community is a communitythat has made a conscious effort to use informationtechnology to transform life and work within itsregion in significant and fundamental, rather thanincremental, ways’ (2).• ICs are defined as environments with embeddedinformation and communication technologiescreating interactive spaces that bring computationinto the physical world. From this perspective,intelligent cities (or intelligent spaces moregenerally) refer to physical environments in whichinformation and communication technologies andsensor systems disappear as they become embeddedinto physical objects and the surroundings in whichwe live, travel, and work (3).• Intelligent cities are also defined as territories thatbring innovation systems and ICTs within the samelocality, combining the creativity of talentedindividuals that make up the population of the city,institutions that enhance learning and innovation,and digital innovation spaces facilitating innovationand knowledge management (4) and (5).The diversity in understanding what intelligent cities are,is due to the multiple scientific and technology disciplesand social movements that take part in their creation,namely the movements towards ‘cybercities’, ‘smartgrowth’, ‘intelligent communities’ and ‘intelligentinnovation environments’. We should underline,however, that major movements shaping intelligentcities, like Smart Communities and the IntelligentCommunity Forum, promote under ICs innovation, smartgrowth, and digital community spaces.For us, intelligent cities and regions are territories withhigh capacity for learning and innovation, which is builtinthe creativity of their population, their institutions ofknowledge creation, and their digital infrastructure forcommunication and knowledge management.1


The distinctive characteristic of intelligent cities is theirincreased performance in the field of innovation, becauseinnovation and solving of new problems are distinctivefeatures of intelligence. In this sense, intelligent citiesand regions constitute advanced territorial systems ofinnovation, in which the institutional mechanisms forknowledge creation and application are facilitated bydigital spaces and online tools for communication andknowledge management.CLUSTERS AND SYSTEMS OF INNOVATIONThe way for intelligent cities and regions is paved byclusters of innovative organizations forming networks,technology districts, poles, and systems of innovation.Today, the mainstream view for innovation is that it issystemic. Theories of innovation have radically changedduring the past few years. Both the traditionalSchumpeterian model (6), regarding innovation as aninternal activity of the firm and the linear innovationmodel in which new product development follows astep-by-step sequence from discovery, idea generation,business case analysis, to product development, testing,and launce (7), have been found inadequate. Innovationis increasingly regarded as a collaborative andevolutionary process taking place within environmentsaugmenting discovery and idea generation and selectingthe most plausible innovations.The systemic theory of innovation was initiallyformulated at national level. Founding publications byLundvall (8) and Nelson (9) described and focused onnational systems of innovation. Gradually however, therewas a shift towards the regional and local levels. A seriesof publications have shown that innovation processes areembedded in regional conditions shaping regionalsystems of innovation (10), (11). Kaufmann and Todtling(12) identified five major mechanisms than explain theregional embeddedness of innovation:• Many of the preconditions of innovation, such asqualifications of the labor force, education, researchinstitutions, knowledge externalities and spillovers,are immobile, giving some regions advantages overothers.• Industrial clusters are localized giving rise tospecific innovation patterns within networks andindustry sectors.• A common technical culture may develop throughcollective learning taking place into a regionalproductive system.• University-industry links and knowledge spilloversare region specific.• Regional policy is playing an active role ininnovation providing support through institutionsand agencies.The structure of such regional agglomerations andterritorial systems of innovation (technology districts,technopoles, innovative clusters, technology parks,innovating regions) can be described in terms ofcomponents, knowledge networks, institutions, andinnovation outcomes.In innovation-led clusters, main actors come from thecompany, the R&D, the technology transfer, and thefunding sectors. Components of the systems areinnovative firms; supplier firms; customer firms;universities; research organizations; technology transferinstitutions; IPR lawyers; consultants; traininginstitutions; incubators; funding organizations;government agencies; monitoring organizations.Components are organized in networks becauseinnovation is based on their combined action. What givesvalue to components is their cooperation. The reason forthe networks’ existence is to enable innovation, facilitateand augment creativity at the company level, the latterbeing the ultimate producer and beneficiary ofinnovation. Various forms of networks appear withininnovation systems: clusters, technology districts, smallinnovation systems, flexible short term alliances. Theconnecting substance of all networks is knowledge. Whatflows within innovation networks is mainly knowledge.All kinds of knowledge flow within innovation networks.Dawes (13), reviewing the literature on knowledge typesargues that knowledge can be divided into threecategories: declarative (about facts), procedural (dealingwith know-how), and conditional (linking conditions andeffects); it can also take two forms, ‘explicit knowledge’that is transmittable in formal languages, codified andcaptured in libraries, archives and databases; and ‘tacit ’knowledge which has a personal dimension that makes ithard to formalize and transmit in other ways thanpersonal communication. Morgan (14) has explained thattacit knowledge is spatially sticky, and this qualitysustains the trend of innovative activities towardsagglomeration.A critical element for the operation of knowledgenetworks is institutional action. Institutions forknowledge creation, information dissemination,intellectual property management, knowledge assessmentand funding act as switches which turn funding on andoff and take ‘kill’ or ‘go’ decisions in the innovationprocess. To do so, institutions are placed upon theknowledge networks linking the company with itsexternal partners. Knowledge networks and institutionalregulation change from one innovation round to theother, enabling a constant renewal of technologies andavoiding technology lock-in.Knowledge networks architecture changes with respectto the innovation processes that take place in the system.Innovation routes, such as cooperative R&D, strategicintelligence, product innovation, process innovation,spin-off creation, opening new markets, attraction ofknowledge-intensive organizations, involvefundamentally different knowledge networks. Different2


Ishida (17) gives a good account of the diversity ofdigital cities’ architecture. He compares four differenttypes of cities on the web, and looks at their architectureof data, form, and functions:• A commercial digital city, which concentrates oncommercial information with principal scope ofmaking money for its owners. Digital cities createdby America Online (AOL) follow this model andare structured as portals similar to ‘yellow pages’.They provide local information, relevant news,community resources, entertainment, andcommerce, together with advertising local marketssuch as auto, real estate, employment, and health.• A policy-driven or governmental digital city, thedigital city of Amsterdam, which was created tofacilitate communication between the municipalcouncil and the citizens.• A virtual city, the virtual Helsinki, which representsthe city using 3D models of buildings and publicspaces, offering virtual tours and broadbandcommunication between the citizens and variousservice providers located in the city.• A multi-purpose digital city, the digital city ofKyoto, in which people can get information ontraffic, weather, parking, shopping, take a view ofthe physical environment and sightseeing thought3D models and panoramic pictures, and haveopportunities for interaction with other residentsand visitors.The architecture of the four cases varies enormously (onthe same see also, Schuler (19). In the most advancedmulti-purpose and multi-functional digital city of Kyoto,the construction of the city is based on three layers. Thefirst, which Ishida calls ‘information layer’, containsdata; it is a repository of raw material, html archives,real-time sensory data, media, text, and other dataorganized in geographical databases. The second layer isthe ‘interface layer’, which contains maps of the city, 3Drepresentations, city furniture, cars, buses, trains, avatarsthat simulate the human presence and all the graphicdesign and objects that visualize the city. The third layeris the ‘interaction layer’ where people interact with eachother, exchange information and communicate. In theother cases (commercial city-portal, communicationplatform, and virtual city) architectures are simpler. Thecity is reduced to just a directory of urban informationorganized as a portal of logical and meaningfulcategories; to a platform for communication, a forumgiving access to the municipal discussion and debate; toan aggregate of visual data.Through this comparative study, it becomes clear that thearchitecture of digital cities is not uniform, but it isobjective-driven, designed to fulfill scopes ofinformation, communication, and service delivery.However, it seems possible to devise a universal modelof digital cities from which all combinations andalternative designs may derive.Looking at a large number of digital cities on the web,we found that their architecture may be described by afour level structure. The first is the informationstorehouse, a database including all digital content, inany form, texts, images, diagrams, sounds, video, andmultimedia. The digital content is usually organizedaccording to the logical patterns, the districts, and thehierarchy of the city. The second is the applicationslevel, which structure the digital content and provideonline services. A digital city that offers informationservices, e-market, and e-government, includes at leastthree applications, which assume the tasks of deliveringinformation, commercial, and governmental services.The third and upper level is user interface, whichincludes all the web pages that users visit in order to getthe services provided by the digital city. Driving a user inthe different areas of the digital city, the user interfacemay utilize maps, 3D images, texts, and diagrams. Then,a fourth level is administration, a tool crossing thedatabase and the applications, which enables managingthe user rights to the applications and the digital contentof the database.This universal architecture of digital cities is composedof three vertical levels (content, applications, andinterface) and multiple horizontal applications(functions), depending on the breadth of the digital cityservices (representation, information, work, leisure,commerce, transactions, etc.) (Fig. 1). The model isgeneric and by customization may serve any concept ofdigital city, specialized in site-seeing, e-government or e-work. The structure is independent of the medium onwhich the city runs. The latter may be the Internet, amunicipal network or a metropolitan network made offiber optic lines or wireless links.USER INTERFACEAPPLICATIONSDIGITAL CONTENTCity Cluster / DistrictFigure 1: Digital Cities StructureADMINISTRATION4


This conception, which is common to many digital citydevelopers, suffers from overplanning. The digital city isconceived as a fully controlled digital constructioncreated by a central agency, which has absolute controlover all its elements and functions. This would neverhappen in a real city. Cities emerge from multipleactions of their people rather than being created by acentral planning agency of absolute power. Theymaterialize the effect of countless simultaneouspreferences, choices, and actions, rather than the will ofa central planning authority.Transferring the organization principles of physical citieson the level of digital ones implies avoiding thecharacterizations of individual websites as digital cities.On the contrary, the sum of websites referring to theform, activities, and functions of a city should beconsidered a digital city, regardless of the number ofthese websites and their hosting in various cities andregions of the globe.ARCHITECTURE OF INTELLIGENT CITIEScapital to fund the development of new businesses,which are the engine of economic growth.• Effective economic development marketing thatleverages the community’s broadband, labor andother assets to attract new employers. (4)Intelligent cities and regions are not lifeless spaces,complexes of buildings, physical infrastructures, andelectronic components and digital applications. On thecontrary, they correspond to vivid human communities,which creatively deploy the skills of the population, theircollective institutions for learning and innovation, andphysico-digital infrastructures for communication andonline cooperation.From this point of view, an intelligent city is amultiplayer territorial innovation system. It combinesknowledge-intensive activities, institutions forcooperation and distributed problem solving, and digitalcommunication infrastructure and tools to maximize thisproblem-solving capability. As fusion of innovativeclusters and digital community spaces, it is structured inthree levels.Intelligent cities are created by the fusion of innovativeclusters and digital cities, with the purpose to enhanceknowledge and innovation. The fusion is based on twoobjective conditions: (1) innovation and digital cities areboth community-based processes, and (2) innovation anddigital cities are both knowledge-based processes. Thefusion stands on collaborative knowledge networksand online regulation of knowledge and innovationprocesses.e-Intelligencee-Innovatione-Technologiese-MarketsIntegration of innovation and broadband is quite obviousin the criteria of the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)for the selection of Top Intelligent Communities.‘ICF has developed a list of Intelligent CommunityIndicators that provide the first global frameworkfor understanding how communities and regions cangain a competitive edge in today's BroadbandEconomy. The Indicators demonstrate that being anIntelligent Community takes more than “beingwired.” It takes a combination of —• Significant deployment of broadbandcommunications to businesses, government facilitiesand residences, with government providing acatalyst through regulation, incentives and evennetwork construction when necessary.• Effective education, training and workforcedevelopment that builds a labor force able toperform “knowledge work.”• Government and private-sector programs thatpromote digital democracy by bridging the DigitalDivide to ensure that all sectors of society benefitfrom the broadband revolution and by expandingcitizen participation in government decision-making.• Innovation in the public and private sectors,ranging from egovernment initiatives and efforts tocreate economic “clusters” to the formation of riskTechnology TransferOrganisationsTech Parks, Tech Networks,Brokers, ConsultantsInnovation FinancingBanks, Business Angels,Venture Capital, RegionalIncentivesCLUSTERSGroup of companies in cooperationVertical / HorizontalUniversities /ResearchInstitutesPublic R&DLaboratoriesPrivate R&DDepartmentsand CentresTechnology Information SystemPatents, Standards, TechnicalPublications, Emerging Markets,ForesightFigure 2: Architecture of Intelligent CitiesL1: The basic level of an intelligent city is the city’sproductive clusters, in manufacturing and services. Thislevel gathers the creative class of the city made byknowledgeable and talented people, scientists, artists,entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other creativepeople, determining how the workplace is organized andhow the city is developing. Proximity in physical space5


is an important factor that facilitates knowledgecooperation and exchange among producers, suppliers,service providers, and knowledge workers.L2: A second level is made of institutional mechanismsregulating knowledge flows and co-operation in learningand innovation. This level gathers institutions enhancinginnovation: R&D, venture capital funds, technologytransfer and training centers, intellectual property, spinoffincubators, technology and marketing consultants.Institutions manage intangible mechanisms of socialcapital and collective intelligence that guide thematching of individual capabilities and skills, andactualize the complex processes of innovation within theclusters of the city.L3: The third level is made up by informationtechnology and communication infrastructures, digitaltools and spaces for learning and innovation. Thesetechnologies create a virtual innovation environment,based on multimedia tools, expert systems, andinteractive technologies, which facilitate market andtechnology intelligence, technology transfer, spin-offcreation, collaborative new product development, andprocess innovation. This is a working environmentoperating in close connection with innovativeorganizations and institutions regulating knowledge andinnovation.The three levels are integrated and work complementaryto each other. Within innovative clusters, digital cityapplications complement knowledge networks andinstitutional switches regulating innovations. Fourfunctions, which are characteristic of intelligent cities,emerge out of this integration.F1: Collective strategic intelligenceA field of innovation which has enormously profited onthe information society is strategic intelligence. Digitalcities may promote a particular form of strategicintelligence, ‘collective strategic intelligence’, in whichinformation collection, assessment, and disseminationrely on the combined action of a group of people, acommunity, or a business cluster.Collective strategic intelligence differs substantiallyfrom business intelligence, the most known form ofintelligence. The latter concerns the exploitation ofcompany information gathered from suppliers andcustomers; it uses data from enterprise resource planning(ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM),and applying data mining and data compilationtechniques produces reports elucidating hidden aspectsof the business environment and activity. Collectivestrategic intelligence, on the contrary, is cooperative.Data comes from a group of organizations or otheractors, which disclose and share internal information.Information assessment is also collective and combinesindividual views and evaluations from the groupmembers. Outcomes are more robust and provideinformation about wider trends and landscapes.Cooperative digital platforms for collective strategicintelligence combine two types of applications:technology/market watch, and benchmarking.Technology watch is a systematic form of collection,analysis, understanding and diffusion of informationconcerning new product announcement, technologies,industrial statistics, performance indicators, marketshares, price trends, etc. Data are stored into databases,portals, blogs and other digital repositories according topredefined templates. Data may focus on an industrysector or a territorial entity. Benchmarking is a form ofanalysis, which compares performances and drawnlessons from the best. It has proven a powerful tool ofintelligence and the techniques of comparative analysishave spread out in many fields of management andpolicy development. Benchmarking started fromcompanies, and has spread out to clusters, territories, andpolicies as well. It provides insights to any type oforganization or institution, company, R&D lab,education institution, hospital, financing institution, etc.or collective subject, such as the industry sector, cluster,region, policy and strategy as well. The methodologyseeks to define the range of performance variation in anyfield of activity, the best performance, the distance fromthe best, and the practices that sustain performances.Identification of best performance and the underlyingbest practice are the essential pillars of any form ofbenchmarking (see for instance,http://www.urenio.org/metaforesight/).F2: Technology transferTechnology transfer process usually involves movingknow-how from an R&D organization to a receptororganization (20). Major forms of technology transferinvolve licensing, cooperative R&D, and spin-offs.Licensing agreements concern the transfer of intellectualproperty rights in order to make, use, and sell a certainproduct, design, or service by a party that has the right togive this permission. Cooperative R&D or contract R&Dagreements are comprehensive legal agreements to shareresearch personnel, equipment, and intellectual propertyin a common research objective /project. Spin-offcreation offers a mechanism to commercializetechnologies originated from a university lab, agovernment R&D centre or private R&D organization. Itinvolves the creation of a new company from the parentorganization, which undertakes the commercialexploitation of a technology. Types of technologytransfer closer to the market also include consultancy andtechnical services provision, purchase of equipment, andtraining (21).Digital platforms facilitating technology transfer arebased on data bases of technologies and R&D results.Technologies are stored into the databases and onlinemarketplaces of technology for license are created.6


Organizations offering technologies introduce theiroffers and the conditions of exploitation. Users may seeksolutions to their technology needs, and then contact theprovider. There is a fundamental difference from patentdata bases, which store patent abstracts designed toprotect an idea from violation. In most cases patentdatabases obscure the technology, making it difficult toforesee relevant applications. On the contrary technologytransfer platforms seek to elucidate possible uses andapplication of technology in different industry sectorsand activities.Technology marketplaces are coupled with other onlineservices related to technology transfer: consultativeservices assessing a portfolio of intellectual property;evaluation of better solutions to a given problem or need;legal assistance through the deal-making process. Theobjective is to digitalize as much as possible thepractices of technology transfer enabling an onlineinteraction and technology cooperation (see for instancethe toolbox on http://www.newventuretools.net/).F3: Collaborative innovationThis newest form of innovation recognizes the criticalrole of communities and networks as fundamentalconditions of innovation. Interactions within scientificcommunities bridging separate knowledge fields,complementary roles and skills along the innovationchain, information flows among suppliers, producers,and customers, are all ingredients of participatorycreative processes leading to new products. Innovation isless of an individual achievement than the joint effort ofa group of people working together, interacting, andsharing the same values and goals. The leading role ofcommunities and systems in the field of innovation isacknowledged by most contemporary explanations ofhow innovation is produced: brokering theories, systemictheories, and tacit knowledge explanations of theinnovation process.The supply of innovation communities with digitalplatforms and cooperative work environments enablesthe formation of virtual clusters equipped with onlineinnovation management tools, such as creativity tools,virtual customers, collaborative product design tools,market research, and marketing tools. These platformsoffer collaborative environments for productdevelopment; may lead the user to problem resolutionstep-by-step, for instance through the stages of newproduct development; include advanced methodologiesand tools; and learning and experimentation throughsimulation (see, i.e. http://www.vrc.gr:8080/npdnet/en/npd/index.html).The result is a substantialimprovement of human innovation skills, because ofcollaboration and offering of advanced technologies andproduct development tools to even the most remoteknowledge worker.F4: Promotion of clusters and localitiesPromotion and electronic commerce is a mainstreamfunction of digital cities. It may take multiple forms:direct marketing, attraction of people and investments,procurement and purchasing, auctions, travel,community and e-government services.The focus is the supply chain of products and servicesproduced by a cluster or locality. Information andknowledge networks are necessary for the functioningand optimization of the supply chain. The partners areconnected by information channels and the flow ofinformation between two partners has to be monitored toensure the optimization of the system.Within the supply and trade channels, digital cities havemultiple added-values. Virtual spaces may facilitate,enhance, and reduce costs in all forms of transactions:logistics in the supply chain; marketing and advertising;information on policies, regulations, technical standards,and incentives; finding partners, buyers, sellers, andservices (22).The difference from individual promotion and e-commerce is that collective applications promote acluster or locality together with its products and services.For small producers and global markets, this is anadvantage. For new products in niche markets, a globalmarket is necessary, which cannot be reached withoutdigital tools.Apart from the intra-functional integration amongknowledge networks operating within clusters,institutions regulating learning and innovation, anddigital spaces, which takes place within each of theabove mentioned functions (F1, F2, F3, and F4),intelligent cities are environments for inter-functionalintegration also. Collective strategic intelligence is trulyimportant for technology transfer, product innovation,and marketing. In many cases technology transfer is aprecondition for product innovation. The latter dependson promotion and opening of new markets. Knowledgenetworks traverse innovation forms and processes, anddigital spaces do the same as well.Intelligent cities are still in their early days. To date,most applications are being developed with respect toinnovative clusters and technology parks, as intelligentclusters, technology districts, and technology parks. Inthese islands of innovation, the innovation system isbeing enriched with communication infrastructure,expert systems, and knowledge management tools,creating an integrated physico-virtual innovation system.Its architecture, as described, includes three levels(physical, institutional, digital) and four functions(intelligence, technology transfer, innovation, andpromotion). Within the physico-digital innovationenvironment, human and institutional factorspredominate. Digital spaces and the online expert toolsact as facilitators of human and collective intelligence.7


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