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Smart Cities as an Open Application Platform

This report “Smart Cities as an Open Application Platform: Building Software for Tomorrow’s World” is Mobica’ s white paper regarding the future of Smart Cities. It offers useful insights on how Smart cities can benefit citizens through city services and opportunities created for business and IoT developers. It concludes providing some considerations that should be taken into account when developing a smart city platform.


The Internet of things (IoT) has resulted in a plethora of sensors and data collected in cities across the planet. At the same time all major cities maintain significant IT infrastructure in order to operate services for their citizens which is typically underutilised. In today’ s world the majority of citizens will own either browser enabled smartphones, tablets or PCs. By developing and deploying an application framework to run on this IT infrastructure, appropriately certified developers can make IoT data available to 3rd party developers in order to create innovative, city specific applications. City authorities will be able to monetise the platform by licensing data usage to developers. Citizens will be able to make better use of city services through the use of applications based on data derived from sources such as traffic, parking, and facilities usage.
Ultimately cities may also opt to allow certain devices connected to the infrastructure, such as street lighting, to be directly controlled. As standardised platforms are deployed across the globe it will be-come possible to “port’ applications between cities, as we look to further connect the world, providing a number of benefits to all interested users.

Key findings

According to this paper, the major considerations in the development   of a smart city platform are:

  • Resilience: the opening up of the software platform must not compromise the stability of it and it must not be possible for a third party to crash the platform. Availability of services must be a minimum of 99.9% and incidents must be recoverable without data loss in a few minutes
  • Security: it must not be possible for a third party to access data that it does not have authorization for. Sensor data captured within the city will often relate to the behaviour of people. Individual’ s confidentiality must be respected and enforced by platform behavior.
  • Data integrity: the data must be accurate. The value of a smart city is in the data it generates. Civic and national policy decisions may be based on it influencing the spending of many millions of dollars. A smart city cannot afford for its data to be inaccurate.

  • Download the report here.