From Digital to Ubiquitous Cities: Defining a Common Architecture for Urban Development

Leonidas Anthopoulos, Panos Fitsilis
Project Management Department, TEI Larissa, 41110 Greece { lanthopo, fitsilis}
Abstract - Digital cities have been evolved from web applications and knowledge bases to smart urban environments. This evolution has mainly been based on broadband metro-networks and complex information systems, and it suggests the form of the future city that is called wireless/smart/digital or ubiquitous city. Although common practices are being developed all over the world, different priorities are defined and different architectures are followed. In this paper we summarize on the applied architectures of multiple city case studies, we use the experiences of the digital city of Trikala, Greece, and we conclude to a common Enterprise Architecture for digital city cases. This common architecture identifies the blue prints for urban information based development. Moreover, this paper presents a common architecture for service delivery in urban spaces. Keywords-component; formatting; style; styling; insert (key words)

portals are called information cities [7], [8]; networks of organizations, social groups and enterprises located in a city area are called digital cities. The evolution to municipal ICT environments -based on metropolitan networks such as metroWi-Fi- composed a recent digital city definition [9]: city-area infrastructures and applications aiming to cover local needs and support local community’s everyday life. This definition evolved to the ubiquitous city or U-city [5], [10], [11]: a city or region with ubiquitous information technology. All these different cases provided useful information concerning the successes and the failures of metropolitan ICT projects. Different architectures were designed to face common challenges. In this paper we summarize on an extensive number of digital city cases, which proves the wide range of digital city models. We present their missions, their architectures and their progress, in order to conclude on common standards and on a common architecture. The common standards are used to extend the “Collaborative Enterprise Architecture” [12] to the “Digital City Enterprise Architecture”, which consists of the blue prints for future developments. This common architecture follows Service-Oriented-Architecture (SOA), and it combines the experiences of current initiatives and the challenges of the u-city. II. THE HISTORY OF THE DIGITAL CITIES Multiple terminologies and definitions have been used to describe metropolitan ICT cases: virtual and smart cities, broadband metropolis, knowledge bases, wireless and mobile, digital and ubiquitous are only some of them. For the purposes of this paper we will use digital city as a common term. Since early 90s different digital cities were implemented all over the world (Table I). The first case was the America-On-Line cities [1], where web environments simulated a city via grouping services according to civilian logic. The digital city of Kyoto (Japan) [2], [3] and the digital city of Amsterdam [13] were 3D web applications, which simulated the city and its local life (streets, enterprises, malls etc.). These web approaches were evolved to virtual reality (VR) environments [14] operating beyond the physical borders of a city. A unique case that utilized ICT for social purposes was the Copenhagen Base [4]. It was a public database containing useful information concerning local community and resources. Moreover, the Craigmillar City of Scotland [4] used the ICT as



All digital cities face common challenges: the improvement of habitants’ everyday life; the development of knowledge based communities; the closing of digital divide in a city; the simplification of both public and private service delivery in town areas etc. Digital cities initially became online with the America-On-Line cities [1], which offered public information in common forms. Later the Kyoto’s case [2], [3] simulated a city in a virtual form, and it was available to a citizen or a visitor. The above online forms soon evol ved to knowledge bases and applications that faced local needs such as the Copenhagen base [4]. Wireless networks and fiber optics gave cities the opportunities to install complex information systems accessible by households and enterprises. Some cities utilized this opportunity and developed networks exchanging information and interconnecting their civilians. These infrastructures are now combined with pervasive computing able to deliver services from anywhere to everyone, suggesting the ubiquitous city (or ucity). New Sondgo [5] and Osaka [6] are the first u-city cases, where Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are applied during urban development rather just being applied in the city, suggesting that future urban planning will possibly set ICT as an axe of precedence. The variety of cases gave multiple definitions to the digital city, which can be aggregated to the following: digital environments collecting official and unofficial information from local communities [1] and delivering it to the public via web

such as virtual organization for the is a European network of cities. The Eurocities (http://www. “Broadband metropolis” was introduced in Seoul [16] and contains dense fiber optic networks interconnecting public agencies. The “Smart City” [15] refers to a city where the ICT strengthen the freedom of speech and the accessibility to public information and to public is a nonprofit organization defining the digital city as a Knowledge Democracy. The World Foundation of Smart Communities (http://www. which were called “Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN)”. but most of them re-consider their business models [18]. The Communities of the Future (http://www. where the ICT support local democracy and local and of Beijing (China) [7] used fiber optic backbones installed in the city. while their wireless broadband networks are called “metro-Wi-Fi” or “Muni-Wi-Fi”. which focus on the development of an Broadband cost minimization and the simplification of IS installation and maintenance resulted in further digital city cases. Many wireless cities have been developed all over the world.smartcity. where the ICT is used for the development of landscapes with opportunities to business growth and knowledge exchange. the “cloud services” and the “ubiquitous computing” solutions result to the Ubiquitous City (or U-city). are analyzed and participation is encouraged. this network consists of the cities of Malta. MAN was used in the case of the “Digital Metropolis” of Antwerp [4].ae). The digital geography [20] extends city physical boundaries and structures teams of interconnected citizens who share knowledge of common interest. where the novel privileges (privilege to access public information and services). for the citizens with common interests etc. It then offered the MAN for public where broadband and media infrastructures offer cost effective platforms to the enterprises. The Knowledge Democracy approach was applied in Blacksbourg (Australia) implementing the Blacksbourg Electronic Village (http://www.dubaiinternetcity. via interconnected information systems and ubiquitous ICT solutions over the and www. meaning cities with broadband networks interconnecting their local resources with resources from other geographic areas. b) the transformation of the local community to a local information society. the first digital city in Belgium. The Smart City notion has been evolved to an urban space for business opportunities. These cities are also called “Wireless Cities”. risks (privacy and security) and challenges (social participation) based on the ICT. citizens and enterprises in the city. where it is analyzed into the “media city” (www.g. in order to share information and services. FTTH). and c) the information collection to support sustainable development of the local community. Moreover. The cases of Hull (UK. This approach was applied in Portugal and uses broadband networks developed by telecommunication vendors connecting cities and local economies. which offered free-ofcharge access and various services. where cities support each other’s progress via the ICT.smartcommunities.bev. The knowledge based cities [19] is a digital city approach. Osaka) and delivers information anytime. anywhere to anybody. The digital geography uses the Internet and the mobile networks to compose digital communities. New Songdo) and Japan (e.dubaimediacity. Their aim is the improvement of living and working. and initially offered relating information and services. The interconnected cities structure a regional virtual environment.g. MAN offered broadband access to public information and services from local agencies. prosperous and sustainable ICT environment operating in the city. . The Smart City approach was initially applied in the case of Brisbane (Australia) and supported the social participation and the close of the digital divide. for the enterprises. installed wireless broadband networks in the is a nonprofit educational organization studying the development of Smart Communities. Geneva [4] on the other hand. The Smart City is fully applicable in Dubai. The final product of the Eurocities initiative is the development of prototype digital Dubai and Kochi (India). www. which offers infrastructures supporting knowledge society and business growth.wirelesscities. The U-city architecture is being implemented in South Korea (e. and it emphasizes on the development of Digital States in the same country. used its MAN to interconnect the foreign enterprises that were located in the area. Broadband metropolis comprises an area of healthy competition among telecommunication vendors. However. The Antwerp city was interconnected with the City of Amsterdam.collaborating tools to structure groups of citizens and to offer social services to the local community. The participating cities exchange their experiences and they cooperate in the development of an open market and in the treatment of corruption in municipal agencies. Trikala (central Greece) [9] extended the above cases and older ones [21] suggesting an ICT-based environment whose priorities concern a) the availability of digital means that support local needs and transactions. while it is attractive for further private investments. This approach has created a network of cities (www. “Mobile cities” such as the New York [17].communitiesofthefuture. Today. Beijing digital city was implemented for the purposes of the Olympic Games of and the “internet city” (www. Last mile connection to a MAN backbone is established with fiber channels (Fiber-to-the-Home.eurocities.muniwireless. aiming in simplifying everyday life. This approach concerns the development of societies. and constructed a digital market for all local businesses. Virtual organizations are structured in this network of cities. such as the ones of www. covering local needs in Europe.

Knowledge based cities . . By this point of view.Trikala .Sustainable development Cities interconnected with broadband networks. TABLE II. web and VR based simulation .Attractive areas for business growth .trusted third party for local transactions Ubiquitous cumputing in the city Ubiquitous information systems in city area Copenhagen Craigmillar Brisbane Malta. Research on: .MAN . networks etc.Digital Geographies .Dense Fiber optic network across the city Wireless broadband network covering the city area.Trikala .Smart Cities .Smart City of Brisbane .Virtual groups . .Groups sharing knowledge Virtual teams of users located in even different countries -various IS . The improvement of citizen everyday life in the city for instance can mean the simplification of citizen transportation. the mission statements cannot define the scope of a digital city case.Services oriented to the Olympic Games.Knowledge Democracy Kyoto and Amsterdam Copenhagen base .Osaka -Beijing -Trikala .Smart City of Brisbane . eGovernment services Interconnected cities Ubiquitous information systems Improvement of citizen everyday life Close of digital divide New Sondgo Osaka U-city of New Sondgo U-city of Osaka III.Eurocities .New Songdo .Digital City Craigmillar .Mobile/wireless cities -Trikala . the access to city resources (libraries and public buildings.Global e-Government . Dubai. the implementation of various digital cities has given many outcomes concerning the significance of these projects: a lot of argument concerning whether initiatives -such as the Wireless Cities.Seoul .Beijing .Social Participation .Osaka .MAN and portals offering local information and services.New Songdo . DIGITAL CITY COMMON CHALLENGES Challenges Knowledge sharing and exchange Interconnected cities Knowledge Democracy Knowledge Based Cities Digital City of Trikala City life simulation Common local information storage Areas attractive to business Local growth due to broadband access e-Democracy and participation. A digital city project is complex and concerns a global range of the activities in a city. and the availability of location based services across the city. Additionally. malls.) or the opportunities for the employment and local growth.interconnected cities .America On Line Cities . . TABLE TYPE STYLES Case/City America On Line (AOL) Kyoto Amsterdam Digital City AOL Cities Digital City of Kyoto Digital City of Amsterdam Copenhagen Base Digital City of Craigmillar Smart City of Brisbane Smart City Digital City of Hull Digital City of Beijing Digital City of Antwerp Geneva-MAN Broadband Metropolis Mobile City of New York Eurocities Short Description Virtual groups exchanging knowledge over the Internet. The definition of a common Enterprise Architecture (EA) for a digital city can support the success of project and the achievement of its political vision. Moreover. COMMON ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE The variety of the examined cases shows that cities around the world face common challenges (Table II) and they utilize Case .web and VR based simulation.Antwerp .Multitier architecture . Knowledge based environment . political leadership and mayors cannot determine how the ICT can deal with local needs and with their political vision concerning the digital city. .Geneva .eDemocracy services .TABLE I.[18] triggered by municipalities and city councils can sustain and really deal with some challenges.MAN and metro-WiFi .Decision making services. Kochi Hull Beijing Antwerp Geneva Seoul New York European city network Smart Communities Blacksbourg Portugal cities Digital Geographies Trikala technology in multiple ways.Hull . such as local capital growth and the close of the digital divide. Groups of citizens sharing knowledge and social services .Interconnected market .Local community evolution .Knowledge based cities .MAN and interconnection with Antwerp Public database covering local needs. It can also mean the existence of online portals offering accurate and updating data concerning the city life.MAN and interconnection with Amsterdam .Mobile/Wireless cities . It can be considered as a major novel service or as a different virtual city operating in parallel to the physical one.

g.g. in order to secure that funding and infrastructures will remain and will support common wealth: a) according to authority perspective. and national EA. although public points of access and freeof-charge Muni-Wi-Fi exist. since six years after its initiation habitants are not aware nor do they use the digital city services. e) and g) perspectives deal with project manager blueprints: since digital city is an ongoing project. with means that do not harm the market wealth. 3) The extension of a digital city is an ongoing process. f) The technical perspective focuses on the acceptance of the project by the habitants and the users of the city by selecting solutions according to user attitudes and to today’s widely accepted applications. c) The technical architecture. 2) Wireless cities. Cooperation with other groups Evaluation procedures. Improve user satisfaction and Agency’s responses Case studies about usability and accessibility Web and voice accessibility Project Manager Change management Role assignment. Statistical analysis methods over data Compliance with data accessibility initiatives Common Semantic model for data description Physical data models End user definition Public service definition Operational costs from transactions Business Framework. levels of access Monitoring tools Evaluate accessibility during implementation procedures Evaluation and improvement Figure 1. that each public Agency has to follow in order to implement the EA. semantics. In [12] the notion of the Collaborative Enterprise Architecture (CEA) was introduced as “an information plan. metropolitan networks)-.g. a wide acceptable project manager can handle disappointment of project difficulties.). deliver change and manipulate crisis by participating effectively with all the involved parties. data structure. Management and tools Collect data during implementatio n procedures Methods for statistical analysis and data monitoring. the expensive (more than €5 millions) infrastructure costs a lot for maintenance and management. the project has not supported the close of the digital divide. because the ICT evolution leads to depreciation of digital city infrastructure – more of which cannot easily be re-installed (e. b) The digital city causes change to all the involved and the interconnected parties. the information necessary to perform the mission and the technologies necessary to perform the mission. however their business models have to be redesigned in order to sustain. the involved social parties and experts invited from the private and from the academic sectors. The enterprise lifecycle is executed with the collaboration of the working group. the city council. and the transitional processes for implementing new technologies in response to the changing mission needs. Trikala cannot be considered a successful case [24]. Administrative Testing period definition. This point of view has to be considered in ubiquitous city cases too. e) The accessibility architecture that describes the efficiency of the architecture. For instance all e- .”. The evaluation of the architecture’s progress is based on end-user satisfaction and acceptance. c) and d) perspectives focus on securing funding and the political vision of the project. procedures Budget. Procedure redesign and change management are necessary for all projects dealing with the digital city. the leader organization’s efficiency for digital city management is verified and secured. social networking) and to available funding Crisis management and continuous assessment of the project Reconsideration of the project (keep or stop parts of the project) Organization vision Representatives definition Technical Existing systems Groupware tools Compliance with national interoperability standards and legal framework Maximize potential from existing national initiatives: Innovating where possible Compliance with international standards. the international practice shows that the evolution of the digital city is based on: 1) the installation of new urban spaces in the city that contain ubiquitous computing. Moreover. which defines the mission. On the other hand. dealing with organization’s physiognomy and vision. it was applied and tested in the Digital City of Trikala case and it consists of the following architecture layers: a) The organization architecture. since pervasive computing infrastructures (e. d) The data architecture describing physical storages. while the only vendor of the project is still the municipality. “smart floors” and “smart buildings”) cannot be re-installed easily either. a new organization managing the project etc. able mainly to host enterprises who wish to invest in the area. For instance. operational costs Financial Political Implementation Alignment of political vision to successful technical solutions Definition of project manager with wide acceptance Solution selection with alignment to user attitudes (e. which contains the technical standards.” CEA was inspired by the US Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) [23]. EA is accompanied with a specific framework [23] containing the proper procedures.g. which focuses on all aspects that support the transformation of the digital city project.According to [22] “Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a strategic information asset base. copyright and securing options. the municipality. decision making Cost savings from participant knowledge contribution Democratic planning tools and methods Task assignment for investigation Smooth migration from legacy to future systems Process simplification Time and cost savings from investments Existing file and records structure Re-usability and migration where possible Storage optimization. The redesigning of the business model is beyond the purposes of this paper. In a digital city case the organization is the leader organization (e. b) The collaborating architecture that refers to the cooperating schema of the involved participants. Muni-Wi-Fi and other Municipal initiatives deliver a ubiquitous environment in existing urban spaces. Digital city enterprise architecture The above outcomes suggest the extension of the CEA with the sustainable architecture layer (Figure 1). Architecture Sustainable Organization Collaborating Technical Data Accessibility Perspectives Authority Managerial efficiency Transformation of procedures and change management Sustain budget and financial transparency Structure Roles for its representatives Participating processes. Additionally. where the strategic e-Government mission and the information needed for mission’s performance are defined with the contribution of representatives of all the target groups and they meet end-users’ needs. it is necessary and it demands a strategic vendor as a partner. the cooperation with a Telecommunication vendor for network management has to be established.

the project can consist of an unlimited number of sub-projects. servants who offer public and commercial services via the digital city (civil servants. businesses.).Democracy projects have to consider “how can social networks interchange with digital city decision making systems?”. The logical architecture contains the following layers (Table III): The stakeholders layer. Moreover. Both logical and physical architectures of the digital city have to align to the proposed Enterprise Architecture. geospatial services etc. this layer defines the “WHOs and HOWs” for each transaction delivered via the Digital City. which can support the maintenance of a digital city project. together with a MAN in case that it approaches households and enterprises with FTTH technologies. metro Wi-Fi. and with an information system offering location based services. The extension of the CEA can be called “Digital City Enterprise Architecture” and it has been applied to some of the common challenges of (Table II) in the case of Trikala Greece. which are the functionality that a system can provide. operating rules Infrastructure layer MAN. and public access points in the city hall and in other public buildings. applying its rules and blueprints to all unique applications and systems. while technology and user needs are keeping on updating. The resulted architecture uses both collaborative and sustainable options. Digital city common logical architecture Stakeholders layer End users. the operating rules and the Enterprise Architecture of the Digital City. while they have to secure the effective administration and maintenance of the project deliverables. groups of end-users. phone centre. The business layer defines the policies. groups of end-users (local chamber. phone centre for public calls. According to [25] “SOA is an architectural style and formally separates services. public/private data created and stored. social network repositories In the previous section we presented the blue prints that a digital city has to follow for the proper implementation and for its sustainability. storage devices. which deliver multiple applications and services to the urban area. a number of fifteen sub-projects have almost been implemented. which can achieve in sustainability and continuous evolution of the project. while the service layer could offer location based services to users with portable devices. public access points Information layer Public. engines. The information layer could have mobile or social network storages accessible via cell phones and portable devices. which are systems that need that functionality. Digital city physical architecture The architecture presented above follows Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). the administrative perspective deals with the proper management of the project. h) Finally. The service layer contains software applications that deliver public information and services to citizens and enterprises (eGovernment and e-Commerce portals.g. COMMON DIGITAL CITY ARCHITECTURE TABLE III. The infrastructure layer includes the local broadband networks (MAN and a metro Wi-Fi). with the continuous assessment of the installed platforms and applications that have to cancel or keep on their operation. policies. teams with common interests). avoiding information replication. public agencies. location based services Business layer Enterprise Architecture. The information layer refers to information and data that is produced and stored in the infrastructure layer. However. describes the potential user groups of the digital city services: end-users (citizens. In Trikala case for instance. from service consumers. students). In [24] an n-tier. information systems. private. This layer has to interact with the previous layer via a unique interface collecting all available services from digital city. servants Service layer Web portals. enterprises). geospatial services. The business layer vertically transacts with all other layers. it is presented in (Figure 2) and it covers the requirements of ubiquitous cities: the infrastructure layer for instance contains a metro-Wi-Fi network. an intelligent transport system. tele-care) services. modular architecture was proposed for the digital cities. Figure 2. mobile storages. together with the necessary repositories for information storage. The proposed physical architecture is inspired from [9] and by [24]. social (e. This separation is accomplished by a mechanism called service . web services. IV.

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