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Urban Open Platform

UOP is the core layer for urban data platform, which collect data from different sensors type via open standards within and across cities (cross-border), city systems, and city infrastructure of the public and private sector. Also, do various types of data processing. Data gets aggregated, processed, manipulated, and extended with context. By default, any data can have a spatial component.

Urban Open Platform (UoP) originates to the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP SCC). The UoP was intended to be a key element in the area of integrated infrastructures and Open Data. In 2016 it was estimated, that key challenges in the platform development were that they were fragmented, had uncertainties on the demand side and were lacking interoperability and common standards from the supplier side. Oftentimes the platforms the innovation projects relied on were experimental by nature.

In FinEst Centre for Smart Cities, the goal is to build a platform that is production grade, meaning that it is based on mature technologies that are well supported and skilled professionals are available everywhere. The innovation projects have not focused on operational requirements such as what kind of organization is needed for the platform operations, how they overlap with cities existing ICT capabilities and are there services locally available.

It should be noted though that the Urban Open Platform is not a single IT system or server. It is a collection of smart city services that communicate internally and externally with harmonized APIs. Using open standards and worldwide used technologies and software, which make it easy to develop and integrate with. UOP is using SensorThings API which is an Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard specification offering a centralised and open framework for Internet of Things sensing devices and applications to connect with each other over the Internet. The Urban Open Platform is based on Apache Kafka, Apache Kafka is an open-source distributed event streaming platform.


The platform should be distributed and decoupled because of various reasons. The city organizational complexity does not support the idea of a single-owner, single-admin platform but the operational models should be based on governance model that takes this into account.

In FinEst Centre, the role of the Urban Open Platform is to both support the research streams, piloting programs and the actual use cases coming from the cities of Helsinki and Tallinn.

Visualized datasets:


UOP environmental noise usecase diagram

Read Article "Urban Open Platform for Borderless Smart Cities"
by Ralf-Martin Soe and Henry Patzig from FinEst Centre and Timo Ruohomäki from Forum Virium Helsinki
Published: 11 January 2022

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