IT Systems and Data Protection

02.07.18

How councils can better understand citizen movement in urban areas

Local authorities are being urged to consider the benefits of using anonymised data to improve the way they shape and deliver public services, as well as to plan ahead by predicting how the urban environment will change in the future.

By taking advantage of GDPR-compliant and census-level big data produced by Vodafone’s 3G and 4G networks, councils can better understand how people interact with the city, identify pinch-points or gaps in provision of public infrastructure, and shape public services accordingly.

Stephen Leece (pictured), managing director of Citi Logik, said his company has been working with Vodafone to provide this unique service to councils so that they can focus their time and resources on policymaking rather than the process of data collection itself.

It’s a big and much-needed leap from the days of roadside transport surveys, where travellers were asked to answer questions about their movement patterns while commuting. As well as being expensive and inefficient, these surveys did not provide a comprehensive multimodal picture of the environment.

Analysing anonymised data via the mobile phone network can help councils identify changes in commuting behaviour – which is especially important in light of changing working patterns, where the traditional 9-5 job and city centre commute are no longer relevant today.

Examples of where anonymised data from mobile phone networks can be used for the public good include transport and health services, urban planning, pollution mitigation and public inquiries – as well as other, more modern problems such as online shopping, with the sheer volume of freight road vehicles becoming a growing threat to congestion and the environment.

“Understanding the impact of all these new movement patterns is critical,” said Leece. “You can see the full spectrum of smart city benefits if you understand demand.

“The urban environment is no longer what you imagine it to be. If you look at a city, for example, we know that a large amount of time was traditionally spent finding a parking space. But a lot of people are no longer buying into the idea that a car is even something they want to own. People’s movement patterns are fundamentally different.”

Some local authorities are already stepping up to the challenge, with a city council in the north east of England recently asking Vodafone and Citi Logik to analyse data across the region so that all parts of the organisation can make changes to the way services are wrapped around citizen needs. But there is still a long way to go.

“It is important to understand what public behaviour looks like, because you have to change the dynamics of the way the city is set up,” explained Leece. “That is the call to arms, really, for why we need to do a better job.”

To discuss these issues and find out how you can learn more about smart city technology, join Vodafone and Citi Logik at a live webinar on 9 July. To register, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

20/07/2018District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

Gedling council members have emphatically outlined their stance against a potential mega-merger in Nottinghamshire that could see borough and dis... more >
Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

20/07/2018Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

Northamptonshire County Council’s new chief executive has been endorsed at the authority’s Full Council meeting yesterday, with the a... more >
‘Naming and shaming index’ for bankrupt councils fails to offer genuine solution

20/07/2018‘Naming and shaming index’ for bankrupt councils fails to offer genuine solution

An index designed to measure councils’ financial resilience in order to avoid another Northamptonshire-style fiasco would actually risk ove... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

20/07/2018District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

Gedling council members have emphatically outlined their stance against a potential mega-merger in Nottinghamshire that could see borough and district authorities being scrapped. Nottinghams... more >
Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

20/07/2018Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

Northamptonshire County Council’s new chief executive has been endorsed at the authority’s Full Council meeting yesterday, with the authority’s leader saying the new CEO “... more >

the raven's daily blog

One step closer to voter IDs at elections

19/07/2018One step closer to voter IDs at elections

Chloe Smith MP, Minister for the Constitution, evaluates the outcomes of the voter ID pilots conducted at the last local elections. We are one step closer to strengthening the integrity of our electoral system through requiring electors to confirm their identity before they vote, building on the government’s commitment to safeguard ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

One step closer to voter IDs at elections

19/07/2018One step closer to voter IDs at elections

Chloe Smith MP, Minister for the Constitution, evaluates the outcomes of the voter ID pilots conducted at the last local elections. We are o... more >
Accountability in government: what next?

02/07/2018Accountability in government: what next?

Benoit Guerin, senior researcher at the Institute for Government (IfG), explains why accountability in government needs improving and sets out wh... more >
Potholes: The scourge of the roads

02/07/2018Potholes: The scourge of the roads

Potholes are a scourge on our roads and can have much farther-reaching consequences than one might think. Re-routing just a small amount of exist... more >
Can data save the future of children?

02/07/2018Can data save the future of children?

Ingrid Koehler, service innovation lead at the LGiU, takes a look at the untapped potential for a digital, data-led transformation of children&rs... more >

interviews

Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >
GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

03/04/2018GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

SPONSORED INTERVIEW PSE’s Josh Mines chats to Martin de Martini, CIO of Y Soft, about what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)... more >
Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the role he plays in ensuring the... more >
BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >

public sector focus

View all News