Smart City Project: Bruges
Bruges is the capital city of West Flanders, a province in the Flemish Region of Belgium. The city has approximately 118,000 inhabitants and is known for its medieval architecture and picturesque canals.
A city with a history
The rich history of Bruges is reflected in its well-preserved buildings and monuments. The city’s historic center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is home to numerous landmarks such as the Belfry of Bruges, the Basilica of the Holy Blood, various Churches and medieval buildings. Bruges is also referred to as the Venice of the North thanks to its many canals and its unquestionable, authentic charm.
A healthy and green future
The city takes a series of initiatives and plans to make city life greener and healthier. Together with its citizens, research, and private organization, Bruges wants to reduce local emissions of CO₂ by almost 50% in 2030. Additionally, several smart city strategies like smart parking sensors, crowd flow monitoring, water level monitors and air quality sensors are implemented to improve the quality of life of the citizens and enhance sustainability. The smart city data platform – Urban Sense, a collaboration between Bruges-Leuven-Roeselare, enables the city to define their policy based on data andimprove the efficiency and well-being of its citizens.
The VLOED-project: measuring crowd densities
In the context of the Smart City strategy, the city of Bruges is constantly working to expand its relevant data. Measuring crowd and people flows is interesting for cities as it helps the local economic sector to be better informed and to make decisions for e.g. staff deployment. The VLOED-project is a collaboration between the cities Bruges and Ghent and is aimed at gathering useful information about the crowd densities in the cities in a variety of ways, as well as gaining insights about the economic impact of these crowds on the city. By using various sensor technologies like cameras and RF beacons, crowd data is collected. The data is further analyzed to detect trends, predict algorithms with the help of AI and data science and explore correlations with, for example, events like shopping Sundays. The whole solution serves as a prediction tool for the city and its local merchants.
What the client thinks about the case
Bruges as a part of Urban Sense
The data from Bruges is gathered on the Urban Sense platform, which is a consortium between us, Sirus, and Cegeka, in collaboration with 3 cities: Bruges, Roeselare and Leuven. It is built to provide a data platform for cities and municipalities and truly unlock the value of all possible types of data. The platform is based on fiware generic enablers. It offers a variety of solutions: from analytical and visualization tools, data science and AI to developing applications and services such as data science, AI, and others. The data is based on shared data models and is delivered via open standards like NGSI-LD as this allows cities to closely collaborate with different parties to create even more innovative solutions to tackle future challenges. We – and Cegeka – received the World Smart City Award and the Agoria Digital Society Award in 2022 with this project.