Cities generate tremendous amounts of data, most of it heterogeneous and unstructured. But the
actionable information that can be gleaned from this huge pile of data can help cities thrive and
prosper going forward.
Facing limited resources and urgent needs, cities have to become smarter with decision support
systems that help city administrators make better choices for their people.
A report from Asian Scientist explains:
“The first step toward building smarter cities is collecting information about what happens in it, thereby
reducing the number of unknowns faced by decision makers. Currently, many decisions, even in well-
developed cities, are made in the absence of accurate information—sometimes with tragic results.
“(Researchers are) now building up a comprehensive understanding of a city from four different sources
of data: satellite data, ground-level data, underground data and crowd-sourced data. This data is then
combined with simulations to calculate warning levels and projections to enable city planners to make
informed decisions. “The model can also help balance between all kinds of conflicts by calculating what
would happen if we removed any of them…Decision makers can use our simulations to test what can be
done before committing resources to a particular course of action.”
Last but not least, the decision support system can also help with resource allocation and planning. If limited resources such as space are wasted, there will not be enough space to build critical infrastructure such as subways or water pipes in the future.”