How It Works

How It Works

Project Objectives

The overall goal of the “OPEN CITY” project is to develop an openly accessible platform that provides every city in the Republic of South Africa with the opportunity to create and share innovative city web services-based information and applications. These services will deliver benefits to citizens, businesses and as well as efficiency and effectiveness for the city administration.

The overall objective of the project is not to undertake fundamental research, but instead to further develop, extend and integrate existing technologies and solutions to create a proof-of-concept solution. This would be tested rigorously and made ready for market, supported by a clearly defined roadmap for implementation and exploitation.

1. Develop Target Operating Model

The innovative use of new technology is at the heart of the journey to “Open City”. But this will require a new operating model to make best use of the technology. An operating model is an abstract representation of how an organization operates across process, organization and technology domains in order to accomplish its function. A city government is a complex system. An operating model breaks this system into components to improve understanding and suggest opportunities for improvement.

2. Develop an Open City Platform

Open in the sense open standards promoting interoperability and open source, helping cities to avoid vendor lock-in and protect their investments. Cities can achieve digital transformation with minimum impact, merging forces to build an ecosystem where they can connect and collaborate both from a process and a technology perspective of efficient, effective and economic ‘smarter’ city services.

3. Deploy the Open City Platform as a service solution

The objective is to develop a cloud-based open platform for the provision of smarter eGovernment process as a service. Flexibility and elasticity will be key principles in the design of the architecture in order to support the deployment in many different cities with differing requirements, both regarding services and operational aspects.

4. Validate the Platform with use cases providing public value

The platform will be deployed and validated by implementing several use cases that provide public value in cities, be it to the citywide ecosystem as a whole, be it to individual citizens, or be it to the city administration. Platform deployments and use of cases trials will be held in Pilot Cities. While for the validation of the use cases public value and acceptance are top criteria, the “Open City” platform itself will be validated along several additional dimensions: its technical feasibility and performance ease of deployment and operation, transferability and robustness, and economic benefits for the various stakeholders.

5. Develop Blue Prints for the adaption and transfer of solutions to other cities.

One of the main reasons for implementing Open City Platform as a service solution project is to demonstrate that concepts and use cases developed in one city can be transferred to other cities even different ways in which city, district, and city entities are structured. The project will therefore develop blue prints to make such transfers easy, covering both technical and process aspects as well as the holistic approach to privacy and security across the value chain.

6. Create Impact in cities.

Creating impact beyond the partners of the project is in essence the ultimate goal. The project will therefore actively promote the results through its Citywide Stakeholder Group. In addition, public administrations usually place a great importance on systems that conforms to standards; hence the project will emphasize de facto and de jure standardization in the relevant areas like IoT, linked big data analytics, cloud service provisioning, open government data and e-Government.

Project Methodology

South African cities face a series of challenges that require increasingly sophisticated tools and solutions, especially under the reality of “doing more for less” being their new normal and focus on the outcomes society needs and wants, while navigating some seismic shifts. Cities must also decide if they want to consume the legacy left behind by predecessors or create a new legacy for the next generation. Innovative, ICT solutions – particularly those created in the user driven, open innovation environments of Living Labs (LLs) – hold a vital key to helping South Africa municipalities resolve their performance failures and transition towards working “smarter”.

Living Labs have proved to be effective means to close the gap between innovative Research and Design (R&D) and market take-up, and make the innovation process more efficient. To achieve its vision statement, Serekali Innovation of Things (IoT) Living Lab initiative will combine, a). User-driven open innovation, b). Connected smarter city governments, c).  Web-based services in the following manner:

  • Living Lab – Living Lab partners will engage citizens and SMEs in the innovation process to help drive creation of the type of ‘UBER’ services that city governments want and are potentially willing to pay for.
  • Cities partners will work to plug existing and new co-designed web-based services into the Smarter City Open Cloud-based Platform so that other cities can easily connect to the platform and use them.
  • Consultants and technical partners will use findings from pilot trials to help create a business-oriented, public-private partnerships roadmap that incorporates a “pay for what you consume” business model.

Project Manifest

1. Support open innovation

We support open innovation by collaborating with creative forces. We are not involved in research and development by ourselves: we search for partners with innovative ideas.

2. Making things open and accessible

We share our ICT knowledge with colleagues, users, with the rest of the world. We share our code, design, ideas, and failures.

3. Community-driven co-creation

We dream of a digital community driven by improvement and expansion of digital Open City. We are building a set of generic and re-usable instruments for this which we will make available. We believe that we can add rich and inventive components to cities via co-creation. We like working together with creative and innovative people who examine all angles and aspects of a problem without prejudice and come up with unexpected solutions.

4. Open, highly scalable and future proof technology under the Project Manifest

We avoid dependency suppliers, their hardware and software, and their price policy, and are keen to use open source. We make sure that we can upscale flexibility at no cost. We want to anticipate the technological changes of tomorrow now and use them in a clever way: open & smarter city government, digital workplace, omnichannel citizen engagement, open data, open services, edge analytics, digital city government platforms, internet of everything, webscale IT, hybrid cloud, and IT. We dare to choose what is not obvious now but what is future-oriented.

5. Responsive organization

We make our organisation versatile so we can quickly and efficiently respond to changing conditions. Disrupting IT evolutions are challenges to us, not threats. We support Responsive.org Manifesto.

6. Digital City platforms

We share a common desire to develop a new city scale data economy that drives sustainability and inclusivity, by using digital city platforms. We support TM Forum’s “City as a Platform Manifesto”.

7. Agile development

We develop in a versatile way. We launch Minimum Value Products in alpha and beta versions, test with real users, constantly iterate, and regularly release innovations. Our target is continuous handover with zero-downtime deployment. We commit to DevOps and support the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.

8. Anti-bureaucratic

We remove administrative obstacles to as great an extent possible. We are open to improvement, constantly streamline, and strive for high flexibility and efficiency. All ideas are welcome.

9. Osmotic enterprise borders: a biotope for creatives as follows

“Open City” is open to everyone who can contribute to the development of the “digital city”. Freelancers, starters, start-ups, students, hobbyists, and others are welcome. We actively search for an approach to the start-up scene and to universities.

10. Open Enterprise Architecture

We support high value interoperability and integration in cities. OEA provides a common public service language and respects the unique operating realities of city governments. We have adopted The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF®)
+ Project Objectives

Project Objectives

The overall goal of the “OPEN CITY” project is to develop an openly accessible platform that provides every city in the Republic of South Africa with the opportunity to create and share innovative city web services-based information and applications. These services will deliver benefits to citizens, businesses and as well as efficiency and effectiveness for the city administration.

The overall objective of the project is not to undertake fundamental research, but instead to further develop, extend and integrate existing technologies and solutions to create a proof-of-concept solution. This would be tested rigorously and made ready for market, supported by a clearly defined roadmap for implementation and exploitation.

1. Develop Target Operating Model

The innovative use of new technology is at the heart of the journey to “Open City”. But this will require a new operating model to make best use of the technology. An operating model is an abstract representation of how an organization operates across process, organization and technology domains in order to accomplish its function. A city government is a complex system. An operating model breaks this system into components to improve understanding and suggest opportunities for improvement.

2. Develop an Open City Platform

Open in the sense open standards promoting interoperability and open source, helping cities to avoid vendor lock-in and protect their investments. Cities can achieve digital transformation with minimum impact, merging forces to build an ecosystem where they can connect and collaborate both from a process and a technology perspective of efficient, effective and economic ‘smarter’ city services.

3. Deploy the Open City Platform as a service solution

The objective is to develop a cloud-based open platform for the provision of smarter eGovernment process as a service. Flexibility and elasticity will be key principles in the design of the architecture in order to support the deployment in many different cities with differing requirements, both regarding services and operational aspects.

4. Validate the Platform with use cases providing public value

The platform will be deployed and validated by implementing several use cases that provide public value in cities, be it to the citywide ecosystem as a whole, be it to individual citizens, or be it to the city administration. Platform deployments and use of cases trials will be held in Pilot Cities. While for the validation of the use cases public value and acceptance are top criteria, the “Open City” platform itself will be validated along several additional dimensions: its technical feasibility and performance ease of deployment and operation, transferability and robustness, and economic benefits for the various stakeholders.

5. Develop Blue Prints for the adaption and transfer of solutions to other cities.

One of the main reasons for implementing Open City Platform as a service solution project is to demonstrate that concepts and use cases developed in one city can be transferred to other cities even different ways in which city, district, and city entities are structured. The project will therefore develop blue prints to make such transfers easy, covering both technical and process aspects as well as the holistic approach to privacy and security across the value chain.

6. Create Impact in cities.

Creating impact beyond the partners of the project is in essence the ultimate goal. The project will therefore actively promote the results through its Citywide Stakeholder Group. In addition, public administrations usually place a great importance on systems that conforms to standards; hence the project will emphasize de facto and de jure standardization in the relevant areas like IoT, linked big data analytics, cloud service provisioning, open government data and e-Government.
+ Project Methodology

Project Methodology

South African cities face a series of challenges that require increasingly sophisticated tools and solutions, especially under the reality of “doing more for less” being their new normal and focus on the outcomes society needs and wants, while navigating some seismic shifts. Cities must also decide if they want to consume the legacy left behind by predecessors or create a new legacy for the next generation. Innovative, ICT solutions – particularly those created in the user driven, open innovation environments of Living Labs (LLs) – hold a vital key to helping South Africa municipalities resolve their performance failures and transition towards working “smarter”.

Living Labs have proved to be effective means to close the gap between innovative Research and Design (R&D) and market take-up, and make the innovation process more efficient. To achieve its vision statement, Serekali Innovation of Things (IoT) Living Lab initiative will combine, a). User-driven open innovation, b). Connected smarter city governments, c).  Web-based services in the following manner:

  • Living Lab – Living Lab partners will engage citizens and SMEs in the innovation process to help drive creation of the type of ‘UBER’ services that city governments want and are potentially willing to pay for.
  • Cities partners will work to plug existing and new co-designed web-based services into the Smarter City Open Cloud-based Platform so that other cities can easily connect to the platform and use them.
  • Consultants and technical partners will use findings from pilot trials to help create a business-oriented, public-private partnerships roadmap that incorporates a “pay for what you consume” business model.
+ Project Manifest

Project Manifest

1. Support open innovation

We support open innovation by collaborating with creative forces. We are not involved in research and development by ourselves: we search for partners with innovative ideas.

2. Making things open and accessible

We share our ICT knowledge with colleagues, users, with the rest of the world. We share our code, design, ideas, and failures.

3. Community-driven co-creation

We dream of a digital community driven by improvement and expansion of digital Open City. We are building a set of generic and re-usable instruments for this which we will make available. We believe that we can add rich and inventive components to cities via co-creation. We like working together with creative and innovative people who examine all angles and aspects of a problem without prejudice and come up with unexpected solutions.

4. Open, highly scalable and future proof technology under the Project Manifest

We avoid dependency suppliers, their hardware and software, and their price policy, and are keen to use open source. We make sure that we can upscale flexibility at no cost. We want to anticipate the technological changes of tomorrow now and use them in a clever way: open & smarter city government, digital workplace, omnichannel citizen engagement, open data, open services, edge analytics, digital city government platforms, internet of everything, webscale IT, hybrid cloud, and IT. We dare to choose what is not obvious now but what is future-oriented.

5. Responsive organization

We make our organisation versatile so we can quickly and efficiently respond to changing conditions. Disrupting IT evolutions are challenges to us, not threats. We support Responsive.org Manifesto.

6. Digital City platforms

We share a common desire to develop a new city scale data economy that drives sustainability and inclusivity, by using digital city platforms. We support TM Forum’s “City as a Platform Manifesto”.

7. Agile development

We develop in a versatile way. We launch Minimum Value Products in alpha and beta versions, test with real users, constantly iterate, and regularly release innovations. Our target is continuous handover with zero-downtime deployment. We commit to DevOps and support the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.

8. Anti-bureaucratic

We remove administrative obstacles to as great an extent possible. We are open to improvement, constantly streamline, and strive for high flexibility and efficiency. All ideas are welcome.

9. Osmotic enterprise borders: a biotope for creatives as follows

“Open City” is open to everyone who can contribute to the development of the “digital city”. Freelancers, starters, start-ups, students, hobbyists, and others are welcome. We actively search for an approach to the start-up scene and to universities.

10. Open Enterprise Architecture

We support high value interoperability and integration in cities. OEA provides a common public service language and respects the unique operating realities of city governments. We have adopted The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF®)