The city of Florence uses CEF Big Data tool to understand COVID-19 impact

In the wake of Italy’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, cities like Florence start to look towards recovery, with a focus on returning to normality while avoiding relapse.

In particular, Florence wants to leverage on data collected by Smart City Control Room (SCCR) - as a key part and enabler of a bigger project called REPLICATE - to ensure lockdown measures are lifted in a responsible and controlled manner. Analysing big datasets on citizens' movements, business locations and events sales can inform policy and ultimately determine how key activities for the region like tourism can re-open safely. 

How does BDTI help?

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Big Data Test Infrastructure (BDTI) Building Block provides a ready-to-use virtual environment that helps public administrations and projects led by the public sector improve the experience of the citizens, make government more efficient and boost business and the wider economy through big data.

Florence's ongoing REPLICATE project, thanks to the Smart City Control Room innovative and intelligent city management system, aims to improve policymaking using big data collected before, during and beyond the pandemic. The city has now decided to use the data analysis capabilities of the Big Data Test Infrastructure to get the most out of this data. BDTI will provide an easy-to-use, scalable solution for analysing data aggregated from various sources:

  • Public wifi sensors (location, number of users connected)
  • Traffic sensors
  • Pollution sensors
  • Tickets sold to museums/events
  • City assets data map (location of parks, gardens, shopping centres)

The pilot project integrating BDTI with Florence’s SCCR will carry out predictive, descriptive and time-series analysis, mitigating the risks of easing lockdown measures by helping avoid overcrowding and identifying high-risk spaces in the city.

Once relevant insights are collected through BDTI, Florence ultimately intends to scale up the REPLICATE project to include other municipalities in Tuscany. This is with thanks to ongoing collaboration with Tuscany Region, and the University of Florence. The data, tools and results from this project could be shared with future pilots, as cities go smart with data tools like BDTI in an effort to curb the effects of coronavirus through innovation and collaboration.

Public administrations interested in becoming smart cities and knowledge-sharing with municipalities like Florence can become part of the BDTI Community by contacting the CEF BDTI team (CEF-BDTI-SUPPORT@ec.europa.eu). 


The Connecting Europe Facility provides free, reusable digital solutions in the fight against COVID-19

CEF’s free, reusable digital solutions are helping public administrations in Europe fight the virus. BDTI is also being used in Valencia to analyse vast amounts of data on COVID-19 to provide insights to clinicians and hospital managers. In addition, various regional authorities in Italy are using the CEF Context Broker to turn widely collected data into contact tracing, contagion maps and predictive analyses.

Find out how our digital solutions can help organisations during and beyond the pandemic on our dedicated COVID-19 page.

Last updated on  Aug 13, 2020 15:21

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