The City of Cape Town might be on the verge of becoming the first major city in the world to run out of water, but that isn’t stopping them from aspiring to become the first truly digital smart city in Africa.

The city is calling for submissions from tech innovators, advertising agencies, social entrepreneurs, designers, architects, telecommunication specialists, academic organisations as well as local and international NGOs to use existing technology and data in new ways.

“Proposed solutions should allow for adapting, upgrading and integrating additional functionality,” the City has said.

The aim of gathering public submissions is to improve the city’s performance and to “enable residents and businesses to engage more effectively with the City”.

Primary focus areas of the project include platforms for economic, digital and social inclusion, health and assisted living, energy efficiency, public safety, and public infrastructure maintenance.

BusinessTech has published a list of example technologies that the city is looking to introduce.

Infrastructure monitoring: Detection and monitoring of the City’s critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, airports, water and power systems.

Meter reading: Remote/automated meter-reading that allows information to be collected and forwarded to the electricity and water departments for billing purposes.

Open data: The City’s Open Data Portal aims to make City data available to the public in order to improve access to information and promote open and transparent government while possibly stimulating economic activity. Therefore, the development of applications or analytical tools using the City’s data may lead to efficiencies, cost savings, income generation or positive service delivery benefits.

Public engagement / participation: Systems for facilitating dynamic public input in order to develop consensus and creative opportunities for enhancing service delivery.

Public safety surveillance: Additional video surveillance points and cameras, used exclusively for public safety purposes, which police could monitor, especially in high crime areas.

Sensor technology: Combined monitoring with sensor technology that collects data in real time. For example, the City would know when a traffic signal is out of service.

Social transformation through information and communications technology / digital skills: Enhancing the lives of our citizens and communities by creating sustainable solutions that drive digital access and improve ICT skills (i.e. Hackathons).

Street lighting controls: Dynamic lighting systems that can be controlled remotely, react to citizens, provide valuable data, and/or reduce energy costs.

Transportation analytics: Technologies that can detect changes in traffic flows, pedestrian and cyclist activity, and parking availability.

While this list is not exhaustive, you’ll have to get on submitting your ideas to the City of Cape Town as soon as possible, as the closing date for submissions is 16 February 2018.

Depending on the area of interest your idea pertains to, you may make one or more submissions. Please note that you need to attach an electronic copy of your response to the online form upon completion that is not larger than 10 pages and 10MB.

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