LxDataLab - Knowledge at the service of the citizen

LxDataLab is a project that results from a partnership between the Lisbon City Council (CML) and several universities and research institutions, and its mission is to create analytics and data visualization solutions supported by Big Data, capable of improving planning, operational management and emergency in the city of Lisbon, contributing to the sustainable improvement of resilience and quality of life of those who live, work or visit it.
After two months of operation, the Lisbon Urban Data Laboratory already has 26 teams involved in 8 analytical and data visualization challenges. These teams belong to 7 Universities and are working on relevant challenges for municipal services. The objective is to help the Municipality to be more efficient, proactive and provide better services to citizens.

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An increasing percentage of the world population is looking for living in cities, seeking for better life conditions and a better future. Nowadays, those who live or work in cities, or just visit them, expect access to municipal services everywhere, at any time, using any device. Citizens also expect city decision makers to be able to make more with less resources and to be proactive in their management.

These citizens’ expectations mean great challenges to municipal managers.  City management will respond more easily to these challenges if it has not only data available but also and the capacity to analyse them in adequate time in order to make decisions relevant to citizens or enabling to improve efficiency in the use of municipal resources.

Cities are producing more and more Big Data, based in municipal internal systems, sensors, social networks and several external systems. Creating value with these data requires expert knowledge, which is not very common to find among municipal technicians and staff. Besides, that expertise is available in universities and research institutions but those people are frequently unaware of city management real problems, and usually they cannot access real data of the municipality. 

As consequence of these interests, LxDataLab was created resulting from a partnership between the Municipality of Lisbon and several higher education and research establishments. This is LxDataLab’s mission:

Creating analytics and data visualization solutions supported in Big Data, that enable better planning, operational and emergency management in the city of Lisbon, contributing to the sustainable improvement of resilience and quality of life of those who live or work in cities, or just visit them.

In the scope of LxDataLab, the Municipality identifies the challenges that need to be studied and provides data for that purpose. It is up to the Partners – universities and research establishments – through their representatives, professors and research scientists, to commit human and technical resources to respond to the proposed challenges.

Challenges presented within the framework of LxDataLab try to respond to some Municipality’s needs and are concerned with:

• Operational decision-taking with insufficient information available

• Finding off-design data amongst Big Data

• Defining priorities in liability management

• Supporting decision on the allocation of relevant resources

• Reactive and non-proactive services