The City of Paris tells us everything on its collaboration with QUCIT, after DataCity Paris 1st edition
Sabine Romon – In charge of the Smart and Sustainable City initiative, City of Paris
Iman Ahmed – Junior Innovation Program Manager, NUMA
The first took up the challenge “How to change energy consumption behaviors” with Suez, and the second “How to predict the impact of public space design on pedestrian comfort” with Cisco. As the DataCity season 2 comes to an end, NUMA wanted to tell you about the journey and to present the fruitful collaborations that were born with the City of Paris.
“Our history with Qucit is a real desire to work together, a desire to get to the bottom of things, and a visibility on the value created for everyone”
Qucit is the story of a startup that makes a huge buzz during DataCity by attacking a niche challenge: Assessing the wellbeing of pedestrians in public space. Everything happened at Place de la Nation in Paris, from flow sensors, and noises installed on the Square by Cisco as part of the experiment they were leading. In this challenge, the Paris City Council was a real stakeholder, since it was working at the time on the future development of the square, so the information revealed by Qucit was very valuable to them.
“So we wanted to continue the adventure, even after DataCity. It was a great moment of convergence of interests “
Indeed, having arrived at the end of DataCity, it seems to be a pity to stop in such a good way. Many elements converge at the same time: The City of Paris wants to continue the analysis of the data to prepare the layout of the Place, Cisco has maintained its platform, and Qucit wants to continue to dig these questions. When the City Council launches a consultation on the use of sensor data, Qucit appears to be the most relevant actor: they already have expertise in modeling the layout, and they go beyond data-visualization, reminded Sabine Romon.
“By launching the consultation, we confirmed our impression that in this niche of data modeling in the public space, there are very few companies and QUCIT is a real step ahead”
Qucit’s lead comes from the startup’s capacity to model the data, mixing urban planning data (street widths, tree presences, etc.), traffic and environmental data, and qualitative data obtained via a simple and precisely geolocated questionnaire. And thus to give a comfort index by specifying the variables that influence this index. The City of Paris then selects Qucit, for a contract that runs from April 2017 to June 2017 with a presentation to the general public and elected officials by way of closure. The success of the work done so far would not have been possible, says Sabine, if Qucit had not gone before by DataCity.
DataCity was the opportunity to work and deepen their commercial offer: comfort index, and allowed them to find a new customer and propose to the City of Paris a successful offer during the consultation.
“With Qucit, Paris is one of the precursors on the use of data modeling to describe the comfort index of a public space”
Analysis of mapped data for development is an approach that is found in many cities. The world of Geographic Information Systems and the predictive world are beginning to cross each other more and more. Although the initiatives on these themes such as in Manchester, Upsala, Hamburg and Dubai are still, for many, only in the state of POC.
“There are still some challenges ahead, one of the most important being the understanding of data by the general public”
One of the big issues today is to show the work done to the general public. Qucit and the Mairie de Paris are now raising the question of the exploitation of data, whose public? How to engage the general user?
The challenge is to easily show the factors, to identify the causes easily. This raises the question of the future of this tool produced by Qucit, would it be a tool for decision-making, a communication tool? A balance must therefore be struck between simplification and the public of experts.
This question overlaps with a central issue for DataCity: how can we offer challenges that engage elected officials and citizens around inclusive smart city issues?
This question will be answered in the third edition of DataCity Paris where citizens will engage in the program from the beginning, during the challenge definition phase.
Iman Ahmed, Innovation Programs Manager, NUMA
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