This article is available also in spanish here
What is an urban operating system?
My list

Author | M. Martínez Euklidiadas

An urban operating system (urban OS) is a set of hardware, software and data that enables a city to be organized through urban planning diagrams. All this information helps with the real-time management of cities and, particularly, future planning.

How has urban planning changed?

For centuries, urban planning was a purely military subject: the city was organized in accordance with possible invasions and defensive capacity, or based on well-known urban pacification techniques. The aim was to improve the efficiency of the authorities, a strategy adopted by American developers by introducing defense strategies into their models.

In the years following World War II, during the first IT expansion, terms such as 'battle ground', 'fight against poverty' or 'combat urban chaos' were often added; all terms that are reminiscent of Haussmann's hygiene ideals in his architectural planning in 14th century Paris, but this time using continuously evolving computer systems.

It was some time before the algorithmic biases of this type of approach was fully understood, hence the need to include a holistic vision in the models. That is, one that incorporated all types of data into the urban planning equation. Since then, urban planning has developed a broader approach that includes many more parameters.

What is an urban operating system?

The urban operating system or urban OS emerged as an urban planning diagram designed to transform a city into a smart city through the application of information technology. A form of control for the layered architecture deployed in cities at the end of the 19th century. A simplified flow diagram that was useful for urban managers.

The world 'emerged' is key, since it stemmed from the initial urban management systems, those containing data islands characterized by joining together data in a way that prevented relationships between categories from being determined. Population aging, for example, was disconnected from planning in the area of biodiversity.

This operating system provides a series of techniques and capacities to combine urban infrastructures, urban services and the everyday lives of residents and acts as a base not just to manage the town's day-to-day activities, but also for planning long-term initiatives. Future planning is only possible when a city's current situation is known.

According to the researchers Osborne and Rose in their paper 'Governing cities', "these [urban design] flows are operative rationales" where "each diagram depicts and projects a certain 'truth' of the city". The diagrams are intended to contain (and mold, not always intentionally) the relationships of power, ethics and citizenship.

Or others such as urban planning and allergies. As indicated in 'Urban Operating Systems' (2020), we are witnessing the creation of the computational city, which stems from the informational city. Data now form the basis on which the city is able to 'think'. Perhaps one day cities will even make decisions or submit proposals.

What are the different sectors in urban diagrams?

For decades, the traditional sectors for monitoring a smart city from an IT perspective have been the economy, government management, citizens, the environment, quality of life and mobility; although more recent approaches such as those of IESE Cities in Motion have opened up the spectrum to other dimensions:

  • Human capital
  • Social cohesion
  • Economy
  • Governance
  • Environment
  • Mobility and transport
  • Urban planning
  • Global exposure
  • Technology

All these metrics themselves contain hundreds if not thousands of parameters, all connected and coordinated via instances enabling relationships to be established, for example, between investment in public transport and social cohesion, or others.

Images | Claudio Schwarz

Related content
What is an urban operating system?
What is an urban operating system?
IoT security solutions: How to prevent IoT attacks?
IoT security solutions: How to prevent IoT attacks?
The six most groundbreaking urban innovations of 2021
The six most groundbreaking urban innovations of 2021
Why Corporate Innovation Needs Transformation
Why Corporate Innovation Needs Transformation
What is the Internet of Things or IoT? Definition and examples
What is the Internet of Things or IoT? Definition and examples
Accelerating Cities' Digital Transformation with Technologies
Accelerating Cities' Digital Transformation with Technologies
What is digital infrastructure and examples of its application
What is digital infrastructure and examples of its application
Governing the twin transition: Transforming today’s challenges into future opportunities
Governing the twin transition: Transforming today’s challenges into future opportunities
AI & CITIES
AI & CITIES
Proprietary or open-source software? Arguments in favor and against
Proprietary or open-source software? Arguments in favor and against
What are the three main goals of database lifecycle management (DLM)?
What are the three main goals of database lifecycle management (DLM)?
Governments in digital transformation: five areas of action
Governments in digital transformation: five areas of action
What is a smart factory and how will it impact industry?
What is a smart factory and how will it impact industry?
How digitalization is transforming government in emerging economies
How digitalization is transforming government in emerging economies
Medical apps for patients: how can they improve public health?
Medical apps for patients: how can they improve public health?
Velodyne, NavVis and Qualcomm Technologies Working Together to Build Smart Cities Faster
Velodyne, NavVis and Qualcomm Technologies Working Together to Build Smart Cities Faster
In battle with U.S., China to focus on 7 ‘frontier’ technologies from chips to brain-computer fusion
In battle with U.S., China to focus on 7 ‘frontier’ technologies from chips to brain-computer fusion
Vintage technology: 'It sounds so much cleaner'
Vintage technology: 'It sounds so much cleaner'
Designers in Tech: How Architecture Is Unlocking the Potential of New Emerging Technologies
Designers in Tech: How Architecture Is Unlocking the Potential of New Emerging Technologies
Treat Smart City Tech like Sewers, or Better
Treat Smart City Tech like Sewers, or Better
Emerging technologies can foster an inclusive COVID-19 recovery
Emerging technologies can foster an inclusive COVID-19 recovery
Shopping with delivery robots arrives in cities
Shopping with delivery robots arrives in cities
Technology for smart cities: the pillars of urban planning of the future
Technology for smart cities: the pillars of urban planning of the future
Making Data Center Smart: How Artificial Intelligence Helps?
Making Data Center Smart: How Artificial Intelligence Helps?
Experts Say the ‘New Normal’ in 2025 Will Be Far More Tech-Driven, Presenting More Big Challenges
Experts Say the ‘New Normal’ in 2025 Will Be Far More Tech-Driven, Presenting More Big Challenges
Prof Shafi Ahmed: ‘Technology will completely transform healthcare’
Prof Shafi Ahmed: ‘Technology will completely transform healthcare’
Does the use of Big Data cause privacy concerns?
Does the use of Big Data cause privacy concerns?
Eye tracking technology: what is it and how will we see it in our cities
Eye tracking technology: what is it and how will we see it in our cities
Five top tips for businesses in 2021 from industry experts
Five top tips for businesses in 2021 from industry experts
Brief history of artificial intelligence
Brief history of artificial intelligence
China’s country-as-platform strategy for global influence
China’s country-as-platform strategy for global influence
As Robots Fill the Workplace, They Must Learn to Get Along
As Robots Fill the Workplace, They Must Learn to Get Along
Top 7 IoT Smart City Trends to Look Out In 2021
Top 7 IoT Smart City Trends to Look Out In 2021
“Liquid” machine-learning system adapts to changing conditions
“Liquid” machine-learning system adapts to changing conditions
Can Artificial Intelligence Replicate the Mystery of Human Conversation?
Can Artificial Intelligence Replicate the Mystery of Human Conversation?
China to become world's largest IoT market in 2024: report
China to become world's largest IoT market in 2024: report
The skills Deloitte looks for when it acquires IT service providers
The skills Deloitte looks for when it acquires IT service providers
Who needs a teacher? Artificial intelligence designs lesson plans for itself
Who needs a teacher? Artificial intelligence designs lesson plans for itself
4 Impactful Technologies From the Gartner Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar for 2021
4 Impactful Technologies From the Gartner Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar for 2021
Are Videogames the Future of Remote Work?
Are Videogames the Future of Remote Work?
China to become world's largest IoT market in 2024, says report
China to become world's largest IoT market in 2024, says report
Let interoperability be the foundation of smart cities
Let interoperability be the foundation of smart cities
Four emerging technology trends in 2021
Four emerging technology trends in 2021
Top 10 innovative regions in China
Top 10 innovative regions in China
What does Integration of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Analytics mean in Business?
What does Integration of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Analytics mean in Business?
Robots, wristbands, and apps: startups that innovated their products for COVID-induced med tech
Robots, wristbands, and apps: startups that innovated their products for COVID-induced med tech
Top 5 IoT programming languages in 2021
Top 5 IoT programming languages in 2021
How the pandemic will shape the workplace trends of 2021
How the pandemic will shape the workplace trends of 2021
How exactly are smart cities built? From facial recognition and 5G networks to cheap sensors — these are the essential components
How exactly are smart cities built? From facial recognition and 5G networks to cheap sensors — these are the essential components
Cyberplanning: Securing the IoT ecosystem
Cyberplanning: Securing the IoT ecosystem
Recommended profiles for you
Remember to activate your profile to network!
Activate profile
sugiono sugiono
sugiono sugiono
Universitas Bina Sarana Informatika
Lecture
DM
Daniel Marin
Start.cat
App Developer
DM
Dicky Marcellino Akbar Marcell
University of Muhammadiyah Malang
Student bachelor in University of Muhammadiyah Malang
CS
Carlos Solana
MEDIAPRO
Digital Business & Innovation - Mediapro
fs
fatemeh sohrabi
vira
veniz
Samuel Hsiao
Samuel Hsiao
Hitachi Asia
Manager
Akshay Jain
Akshay Jain
JanJanYojan
Social Entrepreneurship company focused on reducing overheads for NGOs.
Roberto De Rossetti
Roberto De Rossetti
Lumen Techonologies
Semior Account Manager
Matthew Owen
Matthew Owen
Caburn Group
Co-Founder and Director, responsible for strategic relationships, planning and development.
EA
Elie Abdallah
Hec
I am a strategic management student at HEC Paris, with a bachelor degree in architecture.
IM
Irene Merayo
Cellnex Telecom
Comercial Developer
HG
Harish Gadagin
Deshpande Foundation
Technology Business Incubator
IG
Irene Gellida
Admira
Project Manager
AH
Asic Hussain
Nift
Student
IC
IGNACIO CEPEDA
ASERCOM
Owner
MD
Martine Delannoy
Digipolis (City of Ghent, Belgium)
Chief Foresight Officer
Jan Bradley Jan
Jan Bradley Jan
City of Calgary
Director
PF
Patrick Fiati
Cape Coast Technical University
Lecturer
JP
Jose Antonio Prado Estenaga
Bilbao Exhibition Centre
Event Manager
KE
Khalil Efendiev
CELSA Group
Innovation manager

Only accessible for registered users
This content is available only for registered users
TO: $$toName$$
SUBJECT: Message from $$fromName$$