Increasingly smart, digital and better connected cities. This trend is already in full swing in a number of Portuguese towns and cities and is sure to be reflected worldwide on a gradual basis. Moreover, there are examples in different parts of the world that stand out due to their innovation or the original nature of the technologies involved.
Located in one of the northernmost parts of Europe, Finland is usually associated with an inclination for the development of technology – the mobile phone brand Nokia springs to mind – and with the care afforded to managing the well-being of the country´s population. Indeed, the “Land of Father Christmas” was awarded the title of “Happiest Country in the World” this year for the fourth time in a row, according to the “World Happiness Report” rankings, an annual study sponsored by the United Nations (in which, out of interest, Portugal ranks 58th). These results have provided the justification for another citizen-focused project, this one promoted by the city of Helsinki.
Facilitating citizens' daily lives and helping them manage and make better use of the data gathered by a city when interacting with the population is the primary goal of the project, which aims to turn the Finnish capital into the most digital city in the world. Simultaneously, the use of this enormous volume of data (Big Data) will allow for the adaptation and creation of new and more personalised services in accordance with citizens´ needs. These new services will be designed and developed based on individual, day-to-day situations and will enjoy the help and collaboration of everyone.
THE TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE WITH TECHNOLOGY
Helsinki´s digitisation programme includes making better use of all the data generated on a daily basis. In this regard, the MyData project will make it possible to enhance the adaptation of public services to citizens in general, with a significant focus on personalisation and the anticipation of trends and needs. To consolidate this project, the municipal authorities are working with the Vastuu Group, a Finnish company specialising in the development of services based on personal data. Subject to the consent of each citizen, the technology developed by this company ensures the transfer of knowledge between technologies, processes and the conscious use of data by the population. This will all result in an even more functional city and permanently satisfied citizens.
However, the trust of the public is essential to ensure everything runs smoothly. First of all, citizens need to consent to the use of their data and, secondly, they need to be aware that the city is using their data for the benefit of all. The project is based on an understanding of all the city´s social structures, laws and the daily reality of its citizens in order to adapt and enable the personalisation of services. Information security is guaranteed by the decentralised storage of data, thereby preventing breaches of confidentiality and ensuring nothing is lost.
DATA IS ESSENTIAL FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Transforming data into useful information capable of increasing its value, opening the doors to innovation and generating added value for customers, partners and associates is one of Galp's strategic goals, a company that intends to lead the way in the reinvention of the energy sector. With several ongoing projects, one of the most noteworthy of which is the development of predictive models for the consumption of electricity and gas and the production of solar energy, aimed at improving the consumption estimate of customers of the Group´s various companies using mathematical models, and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide residential electricity customers with a differentiated service, Galp believes both in the potential of data as a source of information and as a means of foreseeing trends and needs. Furthermore, this potential stretches far beyond the energy sector and runs through all areas of business. Be it in the development of increasingly smart cities, logistics systems, disease prevention or the development of citizen services similar to the Helsinki MyData project, data will be the basis for the creation of a more sustainable future.