Civil Protection

Integrated Management Centre serves as the basis for testing emergency event response

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Representatives from the cities of Cartagena, Molina de Segura, Torre Pacheco, Attica, Vilnius and Napóles recently visited the Integrated Management Centre (CGI) of the Municipality of Porto, having the opportunity to see the work developed there, regarding the models adopted to ensure a centralized and efficient management of the city.

The visit was part of the working meeting of the set of partners of the European BeOpen-DEP project, which Porto integrates, created to increase the availability, quality, and use of open data sets, taking advantage of the development of a new generation of services and skills in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), originating in the European Union (EU).

The vice president responsible for Innovation and Digital Transition, Filipe Araújo, received the delegation, reinforcing the importance of Porto's participation, through the CGI and under the coordination of Porto Digital, "to find solutions that promote equality, accessibility, sustainability and that take into account the impact of climate change".

"The Municipality of Porto has been working diligently to ensure that the solutions and services provided to operations align with the specific needs and objectives for the development of a European Public Data Space, so we found in BeOpen a perfect alignment with our data strategy and governance", he said.

The project takes place in six European countries

In fact, the use case envisaged under BeOpen aims to enhance responsiveness in natural disaster or catastrophe scenarios. The data sets to be used should assist in decision-making, due to their ability to geographically reference extreme events, such as fires, floods, or large accidents. Based on the data-sharing solution that may be implemented, it should also be possible to identify areas of the city with a greater propensity for future occurrences of this scope.

Thus, the entities involved intend to develop a standardized solution that improves the technical interoperability of open data. It will cover the entire cycle, from the collection and processing of data to its final publication. The solution will then be materialized in eight pilot projects, taking place in six countries (Germany, Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain).

It should be noted that, in recent years, digital technologies have transformed the economy and society, impacting all sectors of activity and the daily lives of all citizens. Data is at the heart of this transformation, and it is imperative to ensure European values, fundamental rights and guidelines for the protection of privacy.

Data Management and Valuation Plan

Anticipating the challenges that would come in the future, in 2015, Porto established the CGI to bring together those directly responsible for managing the city, before moving forward with the implementation of new and revolutionary technologies. This allowed the joint identification and resolution of problems, betting on direct collaboration between colleagues to face urban challenges.

Since then, data has proved essential to foster the development of innovative services, not only for the CGI team but also for all municipal teams. As a result, after several projects, including Synchronicity, another European project in which Porto participated, it was possible to lay the foundations for a technological infrastructure of capital importance for the city: the Urban Platform.

At the same time, in 2021, the Municipality of Porto presented its "Data Management and Valuation Plan", guided by the view that cities, composed of their organizations, companies, citizens and visitors, represent an unparalleled source of data. With proper processing, they are indispensable for the creation of vital sources of information for sustainable development.

Secure data processing

Valuing municipal information is facilitated by an internal platform for organized data dissemination (with all associated datasets and resources essential for the cross-cutting development of municipal activities). This platform is based on two distinct pillars: an Intramunicipal Data Meta-Indexer (PM) and an Open Data strategy.

Although different, the two pillars complement each other from a technical point of view and, more importantly, from the point of view of effective data management and valorisation. As these actions revolve around data and information, they are intrinsically transversal to the organization and, in practice, lead to the implementation of internal processes at the level of organizational units. These processes ensure the secure storage and processing of municipal data and the publication of selected datasets as Open Data.

The BeOpen project brings together 18 partners from eight European countries. Eight use cases from six countries (Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, and Spain) will test and validate the model, in a time horizon that is expected to end in 2025. Porto's activity in the consortium is coordinated by Porto Digital, as a toolbox for innovation and digital transition in the municipality.