EghtesadOnline: Urban planners and managers from Fars, East Azarbaijan, Qom, Isfahan, and Khorasan Razavi provinces were in Tehran on Thursday and reviewed projects that seek to transform the capital into a smart city.
Tehran Municipality Information and Communication Technology Organization took the visitors on a four-hour tour of city, tmicto.tehran.ir reported.
Tehran ICT Organization Chief Mohammad Farjoud, who headed the tour, emphasized the need and role of urban informatics in transforming metropolises into smart cities.
Urban informatics is the study of people creating, applying and using information and communication technology and data in the context of cities and urban environments, according to Financial Tribune.
Farjoud said, “Everyday, over 10 terabytes of data is harvested from sensors and monitoring devices across Tehran. Data is stored in 222 physical and 1,310 virtual servers owned by the municipality.”
Following the municipality’s open data approach, startups and local technology firms are to be provided with access to the information, he said.
“As per reforms to TM policies, instead of merely regulating startups, the municipality will also support the fledgling firms.”
The representatives also visited Tehran’s urban data center at the ICT Organization and Tehran Digital Observatory.
Located on the premises of Milad Tower, the observatory includes a smart interactive 3D model of Tehran, along with real-time maps of the sprawling capital’s traffic and air pollution. Data from air population censors, traffic monitoring systems and water distribution network is available in the center.
Dock-less bike-sharing service stations were also introduced to the visitors. Developed by a local startup 'BDOOD' (pronounced ‘BEE-DUDE’, literally meaning ‘zero-emission’), the smart bike rental platform was launched in two Tehran districts in December.
Using eco-friendly and sustainable technology and to enhance urban transport, BDOOD is an affordable service, seeking to promote a healthier means of transportation and contribute to curbing air pollution.
Application of smart kiosks installed in the capital by the municipality were also explained to the visitors. The kiosks aim to improve access to free and fast Internet services.
Services offered through the smart kiosks are not limited to free WiFi as users can log in to quickly view city maps, find local markets, gyms, restaurants, and mosques, check the balance of their electronic transport cards (used for bus and subway travel and public parking).
The Innovation Zone jointly developed by Sharif University of Technology and TM, was the last site the visitors surfed. The zone is built on 250 hectares that incorporate the prestigious center of higher learning and its Science and Technology Park to assist startups, knowledge-based firms, and tech companies.
The zone, which was introduced on Jan. 15, is expected to attract knowledge-based firms operating in and around Tehran, in addition to motivating talented students to set up technology teams and introduce new business models.
Municipalities believe harnessing smart solutions and Internet of Things (IoT) technology can help resolve chronic problems metropolises have been facing for decades, in particular, air pollution and the monstrous traffic, plus making life easier for the people.