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Urban Platforms

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Our ambition

By 2025, 300 million EU citizens are served by platforms within their cities
& in short-term, accelerate the adoption of Urban Platforms through an easy-to-implement templated approach and cross-sector collaboration

Urban Platforms form a core building block by which cities better manage the current explosion in volumes of city data and more easily share this data between city services in order to improve outcomes for society. Few cities in Europe have implemented such solutions. Key blockers included: Capacity, Money (as it’s an investment with an unclear BCase) and Cross-Silo breaking commitment (a leadership role).

The Urban Platform Initiative comprises three core elements:

  • Demand-Side – to define common requirements and speed adoption
  • Supply-Side – to bring together EU Industry to adopt common open solutions
  • Standardisation – to formalise the capture of the core content as international standards


Our case

Many cities are grappling with the challenge of understanding how best to connect the rapidly growing volumes of data from their existing service operations, new sensors (IoT), social interactions and the like – in order to deliver better outcomes for their citizens and their local economy. 


Our effort

The EIP has three interdependent initiatives in support of the development and spread of interoperable platforms:

  • Firstly, a demand-side (city) initiative that will develop  a city-needs-led set of common requirements, plus templates and tools to help cities engage fast and confidently.

  • Secondly, a Supply-Side initiative – the main subject of this post – to develop an open reference architecture.

  • Finally, a close cooperation with Espresso project, started in early 2016, and will also capture the results of the above to help sustain momentum.

For a general introduction to these activities, please see this presentation.

10 Cities established as the core group to develop the requirements including: London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Gent, Barcelona, Murcia, Valencia, Derry, Mannheim, Copenhagen, Scottish cities, Southern Italy, Burgas (tbc). Those and many more provided us the state-of-play about Urban Platforms in European cities and municipalities, through an open survey. In case you represent a city/municipality, do not hesitate and give us your current status in terms of Urban Platform services here!

This group led by London has developed a common core set of city-needs-led requirements to support the acquisition of Urban Platforms. See here what they come up with. In order to see the full document please join the group by contacting

Letter of Intent (LoI) was launched and has been already signed by 24 cities and 2 networks (representing 72 cities). The LoI is now attracting further city signatories to maximise cities support, so if you represent a city and you are interested, please fill in our signatory form and send it to

A MoU was launched in May ’15 in Berlin under the presence of Günther Oettinger, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, and is now attracting further Industry executive signatories. To date 46 organisations in support (see the MoU for details). We are seeking to maximise Industry support, so if your organisation is interested, please contact

For more information on each initiative, please visit the specifc sites for:

Cities Supply-side Standards


Our approach

Target Deliverables:

  • EU-UP Hub – established as critical enabler of a coordinated city-needs-led approach (Jan’16)
  • DEMAND-SIDE – 10 Mobilised Cities as core (done); Requirements definition (Dec); City LoI (Jan) practical Use Cases; Procurement & Business model Templates; Assessment Protocols; Value Case
  • SUPPLY-SIDE – MoU (done); Set of principles; Joint reference architecture framework; Data and service ontology; Liaison with standards organisations; Operational frameworks for implementation in city environments
  • STANDARDISATION - Standards landscape; Fast Track guidance and standards.


Our action

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Latest news

Conclussions of the Urban Platforms break-out session during the EIP-SCC General Assembly 2016:

  • Demand-side: the Letter of Intent has been signed by 24 cities and 2 networks of cities and it is now attracting further city signatories, all of them committing to contribute to the definition of common specifications for urban platforms. In this sense, the Urban Platforms team has discussed how to develop the two modules of the city-needs specification: the Leadership Guide and the Management Framework (toolkit for action), starting from City side, then Demand side and finally ESPRESSO, which will gather stakeholders and deliver a conceptual Smart City Information Framework.
  • Supply side: Presentation of the three work streams established:

    ·   WS1: Standards & Standardization (Co-Leads Maria Carmen Bueno Hernandez and Maarten Welmers): the process was open to comments to recently published outcomes until 10th June. From this work, standards based on the Reference architecture from WS2 will be defined. 

    ·   WS2: Reference Architecture & Design Principles (Co-Leads Jeroen Scheer and Lutz Heuser): cities have collaborated in the definition of requirements. Needs “adaption” to every city.

    ·   WS3: Scale (Co-Lead Antonio Marqués) - mission: Define and execute Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) dissemination and scale plan.

    A MoU has been signed by 44 organisations of industry in support; the objective is to maximize industry support.

In next meeting the group will discuss the possibility to create a new working group from mainly industry partners who will not build urban platforms but will be rather like the demand-side - users of the platform.

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