[CR] Smart City Forum : First scorecard and new prospects



IDATE Insights : Philippe BAUDOUIN, Head of digital plan practice

5th edition of the Smart City Forum. This year with a focus on territorial strategy, and a second focus on the predictive analysis for the development of Smart Cities.

  • First challenge on climate change, especially with the COP21 conference organized in France.
    Smart City could allow making savings in terms of gas emission, equivalent to India production.
  • 5 years ago, Smart City was a hot topic for very few cities. In 2014, 50% of 100’000+ cities were involved in Smart City development. Besides, the Caisse des Dépôts launched an initiative to help smaller cities to develop Smart City initiatives as well.
  • Various approaches of the smart city : the block, the vertical, the citizen, …


Round-table: From experiments to strategic visions: how cities are becoming smart cities?

  • Norbert FRIANT, Responsable Service Aménagement et Usages du Numérique, Rennes Métropole
  • Benjamin FAVRIAU, Chef de projet Smart City, Mairie de Paris
  • Hélène ROUSSEL, Développement filière d’excellence, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole


Flash-back regarding what have been done regarding smart cities in your city ?

Montpellier is working on smart city for 5 years, and is currently in the end of a learning phase. Legislative tools and synchronization are complex to develop such initiatives. In 2010, Montpellier has been involved in the label “Eco Cité” allowing the city to start a reflexion with IBM and local labs on Smart City. 4 fields investigated : mobility, floods prevention, risk management. Currently at the end of the trial phase.

Rennes has the moto “living smart” since 1983. The city is very involved in data use and management, thinking early of open data, big data. Worked with Dassault to develop projects around data and worked with Montpellier to co-create data-based services.

Paris started an initiative for Smart and Sustainable City since last elections. The idea was to provide tools to the city to achieve its main goal regarding mobility, wastes, … The city is therefore currently developing new tools around data, and try to federate an ecosystem around data.

The position of the local administration regarding the development of Smart City

In Rennes, the role of the city and the “Metropole” is to be a data “régie”. The aim is to gather data, and manage initiatives around data, stimulate an ecosystem, and provide a “citizen fabric”. One of the issues for a data-based application is to create an audience.

In Paris, the city managed to release data for now. The idea is to open a reflexion on data to all partners that could be interested in the use of data. The city try to develop a territorial sense to federate players around data.

In Montpellier, the city was involved on open data. The “metropole” was involved on its side on data already used. Montpellier is therefore between both initiatives.

There is beside a challenge on the Internet of Things and connected objects, and how to use and federate data generated by these objects placed on the city. Telcos are involved, software editors as well. In Rennes, they work with the development of open technical bricks. The role of the city is to stimulate the local ecosystem around smart city. Rennes worked with research labs around Lora and the Lora alliance.

It can be the charge of cities to define a de-facto standard, at the national level.

About the link between Smart City and the French tech ecosystem

In Montpellier, the dynamic have been lunched concretely in 2015, especially with the Big Data Challenge. The Smart City is an enabler of the French Tech initiative and ecosystem, and the development of start-up community.
Paris worked with Numa (start-up incubator), to develop applications around Big Data.
Rennes also worked on data-based applications, around geo-tourism, developing new services, tested by local citizens.
There is also a culture of “free of charge” services that is killing start-ups, living more or less on public subventions rather than on a sustainable business model. The other players that are correctly living on smart city are large players including SNCF, Google, Cisco, IBM. Some of them do not release their data and are blocking the development of big data, especially start-ups.
Rennes and Montpellier answered to a call for projects in 2014 and have been chosen : they have launched jointly 10 challenges on Big Data. 4 companies from Rennes and 4 from Montpellier are involved in these Challenges.


Keynote : Gabrielle GAUTHEY, Head of Investments, Caisse des Dépôts

Gabrielle Gauthey, Caisse des dépôts

Gabrielle Gauthey, Head of Investments - Caisse des dépôts


The smart city can take profit from the legacy city. The smart city is involved in the territorial transition, in the climate transition, the digital transition and the demographic transition.

How can we see the intelligence of a city (for the Caisse des Dépôts) :

  • More fluid
  • More sustainable
  • More sober
  • More resilient
  • More inclusive (social integration)

Some original example of mobility / smart city solutions provided in France :

  • Nantes developed a “pay-as-you-use” model for transport, bus, tram and train.
  • Lille developed the concept of shifting time mobility: you are paid to shift your working time to take the bus out of the peak hour.

Infrastructure is key for the development of Smart Cities, especially to gather and store the data.

There are also needs for fixed mutualized telecom networks that are neutral and provided by the city. “It is necessary to have an open infrastructure to avoid silos and to release innovation”.

Governance is necessary to manage initiatives (by the city especially), and the citizens have to be involved in the development of these initiatives and applications.


Roundtable - Are predictive technologies the next stage in the smart city’s development?

Moderated by : Albert ASSERAF, Directeur général stratégie, Etudes et Marketing France, J.C. Decaux


Presentation of round table members’ involvement in predictive analysis for Smart City:

SystemX: Research labs placed in the Paris-Saclay innovation cluster. Work especially on smart territories, and especially on predictive data analysis. To work on transportation systems, it is necessary to modelling transport networks in order to understand the how it works. It leads to understand how people flows are moving, by investigating at stations, analyzing location-based data from mobile operators, or location-based tweets.

IBM – Smarter Cities: Analytics is only one step among others on the “smart” aspect of the city. In 2020, there will be 1.7 Mbyte generated each second for each person around the world. It is therefore necessary to use these data to generate value, in order to improve living conditions in the city. IBM worked with the Chinese government to anticipate pollution levels 72 hours upstream. The territory have to stay at the center of the smart city initiative, and at the core of the governance.

Optimod – Lyon: technology is a mean and not a way to make investment. The main goal remains related to the city: mobility, environment, … Optimod deals with transportation in Lyon. The idea is to answer issues regarding environment: reducing gas emission, reducing transport costs (including cars and public transport). The first option is to change behaviors regarding cars, the other option is to change infrastructures. Digital can help changing things waiting for disruptive options in terms of transportation. Optimod works on predictive analysis especially for traffic lights optimization. Companies like Uber do not generate value, rather destroy value at the scale of the city. It is important to keep the value within the city and to preserve the economic ecosystem.

Ruckus Wireless: Californian company working on smart city communication infrastructures. Some developing countries are more advanced than developed countries in terms of Smart City initiative. In the US, Ruckus worked in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose: developed services with real-time parking places available. Also analyzed data from SingTel in Singapore to know how long people are waiting for trains, by analyzing wifi connections density on the platform. In NYC, provide Wifi interactive hot-spots, to replace the existing phone booths, providing especially free calls over-wifi on these hot spots.

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