Making travel information accessible in Fukuoka

Fukuoka, Japan, has a dense and well-connected bus system. With a population of roughly 1.5 million, Japan's 7th largest city is familiar with the challenges of city mobility and has taken major steps to promote public transit throughout the region. Fukuoka currently has real-time bus tracking available and has set up applications to connect residents to the route and schedule information that they need. This year, Fukuoka joined as a partner in the Living Labs Global Award (LLGA) to improve the accessibility of local travel information even further. The city's main concern is that while bus information is readily available and understandable to residents, the current interface is difficult for visitors to interpret, particularly those from abroad. Fukuoka hopes to develop a platform for local travel and tourist destinations that can be easily interpreted by visitors who are not familiar with the city or its transit system. Here are some of the features that Fukuoka would like to see included in its new system:

  • A mobile bus information system (MBIS) that is accessible to users via web browser, smartphone app, and/or other mobile display
  • Trip routing capabilities that help users identify the best route to take from origin to destination
  • Routing to tourist destinations throughout the city, including travel information for self-guided city tours
  • Easy to read bus schedules, routing, and real-time information on an interactive display
  • Advanced map interface to provide a visual of travel information and options

In the shortlist round for this year's LLGA, Fukuoka chose five showcases as nominees for the opportunity to market and launch their proposals as a pilot project within the city. One of the nominees, Eyestop, has also been chosen as a nominee for Mexico City and was featured in a post last month.

Two other shortlisted proposals, BLUEPASS and Excursion, take advantage of mobile accessibility in different ways. BLUEPASS uses Bluetooth technology to allow users to interact with transportation signage, vehicles, and stations to receive up-to-date travel information on their mobile devices. Excursion operates as a mobile app that provides the user with a listing of all possible routes and arrival times from a selected stop, or can provide a listing of routes based on the desired destination. The app is designed to be visually intuitive and uses colors and symbols to communicate information so that it can be universally understood.

Another showcase, City Screen & Media Networks by EuMediaNet, focuses on making travel information accessible through a variety of displays, from personal mobile devices to web browsers to large public display screens. Their model would allow information to be displayed in locations throughout the city so that those without a mobile device can still take advantage of Fukuoka's travel and tourist information.

Lastly, the Smart Pathfinder solution uses a mobile app interface to organize travel information by transit stop and neighborhood. In addition to the real-time bus information already offered in Fukuoka, Smart Pathfinder offers directions to a destination based on a user's preference to minimize time, cost, and/or bus transfers; has an interactive map to view a stop's surroundings or routes throughout the city; the option to plan a trip with certain sights or destinations highlighted along the way; and a rush hour alert to help users avoid heavy traffic.

What's your favorite solution for Fukuoka?

~ Allison Bullock

Have a real-time information product for mobile devices? Fukuoka is willing to try it in their city!

The japanese city of Fukuoka is seeking products/solutions to deliver real-time bus, destination and tourist information to visitors in an easily accessible way on smartphones, screens and mobile devices. The city invites companies worldwide to submit their solutions before 17th February to the Living Labs Global Award 2012.

Submissions to the Award are free of charge and the winner of the Fukuoka category will be invited to pilot the solution in the city, with full support from local stakeholders to evaluate the solution before a full-scale roll-out.

In last year's edition, Worldsensing for example managed to see a pilot implementation of its FastPrk Technology to monitor parking within 6 months of winning the Living Labs Global Award.

For the 2012 edition, with the aim of improving mobility in Fukuoka, we are seeking a solution that provides bus and city information to non-daily users using a mobile platform: Mobile Bus Information System, or MBIS for short. The MBIS should include information on current city traffic conditions, bus schedules, bus transfers, the time needed to reach any destination, tourist information, city information, and so on (more information here).

How to submit:

Entries can be submitted online on www.llga.org until 17th February.

International juries will evaluate the entries and provide a shortlist of the top 100 showcases on 5th March. Winners will be announced on 2nd May 2012 at the Award Ceremony during the networking Rio Summit on Service Innovation in Cities, for which all participants are invited.

About the Living Labs Global Award 2012:

Living Labs Global, a non-profit association promoting innovative solutions in cities around the world, is organising the 2012 edition of the Living Labs Global Award in cooperation with the cities of Barcelona, Birmingham, Caceres, Cape Town, Coventry, Derry~Londonderry, Eindhoven, Fukuoka, Glasgow, Guadalajara, Hamburg, Lagos, Lavasa, Kristiansand, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Rome-Lazio, San Francisco, Sant Cugat, Santiago de Chile and Terrassa.

Together with these 21 cities, the Living Labs Global Award 2012 aims to provide a market opportunity to innovative solutions with the aim of helping over 110 million citizens in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe.

For more information:

Email: media@livinglabs-global.com

Tel.: +34 93 1855110

www.llga.org Twitter: @LivingLabsAward Facebook: www.facebook.com/llga2012

Twenty Global Cities Launch Technology Award to improve the living standards of 100 Million Citizens

Twenty global cities, including Barcelona, Cape Town, Lagos, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and San Francisco, in four continents, join forces with Living Labs Global, Oracle, CityMart.com and The Climate Group in an effort to find innovative solutions that will improve the living standards of more than 100m citizens by launching the Living Labs Global Award.  International technology and service solution service providers will compete for twenty winning spots that will allow them to pilot their solutions in these cities and put their effectiveness to the test.  

Babatunde Fashola, Governor State of Lagos says: “For any modern City, Lagos being no exception, the requirement to leverage innovation is no longer an option, but a necessity and this I believe is the objective of our partnership with the 'Living Labs Global Award”.

“Oracle is proud of the collaboration with Living Labs Global and cities around the world to improve citizen services through innovation and technology achievement,” said Juan Rada, Senior Vice President, Public Sector.  "Oracle is pleased to be the corporate sponsor of the Living Labs Global Award 2012 showcasing technology innovation in the Public Sector.”

Living Labs Global (www.livinglabs-global.com), the non-profit association which promotes new technologies and services in cities will be working with Barcelona, Birmingham, Caceres, Cape Town, Coventry, Derry~Londonderry, Eindhoven, Fukuoka, Glasgow, Guadelajara, Hamburg, Lagos, Lavasa, Kristiansand, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Sant Cugat, Santiago de Chile and Terrassa to select the providers and the solutions that will best tackle key urban challenges such as social inclusion, intelligent transport, urban service automation, urban lighting, open data systems, smart living, and healthcare.

Councillor Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said “We think the Living Labs Global Award scheme is a real opportunity to help find an innovative solution, fully utilising emerging technologies to efficiently and effectively process food waste, resulting in a sustainable energy source for the benefit of Birmingham businesses and residents.”

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission General Manager Ed Harrington says: "San Francisco is proudly participating in this innovative program to find the best and brightest ideas that will make our city infrastructure more efficient and resilient."

Daniel Hoornweg, Lead Urban Specialist, Cities and Climate Change at the World Bank says “The Living Labs Global Award is particularly useful in that it looks for transformative solutions from all cities around the world. The twenty participating cities have adopted a common standard and process to learn from each other, evaluate, and pilot solutions. This award again shows how cities are best able to learn from each other.”

Sascha Haselmayer, General Director of Living Labs Global said: “We are delighted to be partnering with such an important group of world cities. It is their vision, their leadership, their understanding of current and future challenges and their belief in the power of innovation that is making the Living Labs Global Award not only possible – but a blueprint for the future of cities everywhere”.

The Awards’ last editions attracted 562 entries from 41 countries with winners including, among others, a smart real-time peer-to-peer parking system in Stockholm and an open data citizen participation platform in San Francisco. Oracle Corporation has been named as the lead corporate partner for the Living Labs Global Award 2012 with CityMart.com providing the technical and social networking infrastructure through its urban technology marketplace. International NGO, The Climate Group, and The World Bank are strategic partners, incorporating the Living Labs Global Award into their flagship “Clean Revolution” campaign.

Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group says: “We are delighted to be partnering with Living Labs Global and this impressive array of global cities. We live in an increasingly urban world. The cities’ investment in smart technologies and clean energy, their commitment to use innovation as the best way to both confront urban challenges and improve the living standards of their citizens are crucial in driving the Clean Revolution forward and ensure a cleaner, smarter, better world for all”.

Thomas Ebling, CTO of CityMart.com says: “Living Labs Global Award is an important global process that will contribute to our vision of revolutionising the way local governments invest in and regulate new technologies and services in cities. Its clear process, documented results and accountability are an important milestone and opens the window to large and small solution providers from around the world.”

Twenty Award Categories are being presented and entries are going to be reviewed by international experts against criteria such as climate and community impact, innovation, market relevance and ease of implementation. The Award Categories were defined together with decision-makers in cities around the world. Behind each Category lies the commitment of a city to pilot the winning showcase, with full institutional support to evaluate the impact the solution can have on reaching the community’s objectives.

Submissions to qualify for the Living Labs Global Award can be submitted until the 17th of February 2012. A shortlist of the top 5 Showcases will be presented by each partner city on March 5th 2012. The final Award winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony May 2nd 2012 in Rio de Janeiro on the eve of the Rio Summit on Service Innovation in Cities.

Mischa Dohler, CTO of Worldsensing and Winner of a Living Labs Global Award in the 2011 edition says: “Winning the Living Labs Global Award in May 2011 gave us a pilot trial of our cutting-edge smart parking solution in Sant Cugat. Usually very difficult to achieve, a town hall has actually committed within less than a month to testing and evaluating an innovative technology solution to ease the daily headache of finding a vacant parking space, improve the efficiency, carbon footprint and revenue for the city. For us, as a start-up, this was a major break-through.”




About Living Labs Global

Living Labs Global is a non-profit association based in Copenhagen, Denmark, working with 50 global cities and more than 500 companies and innovation centres to promote innovation in services in cities. In 2011 Living Labs Global was recognized as a major global social innovation initiative by Ashoka. Today, the global market for innovative solutions to healthcare, learning, transport, social inclusion, tourism and other services in cities is obscured by lack of knowledge about international experiences, technologies and new business ideas. Living Labs Global strives to collect and present solutions that make cities more attractive, inclusive, efficient and diverse in our Living Labs Global Showcase. Participation is free of charge, providing recognition, visibility and new project opportunities.  Together, we build Your Market for Mobility.

Endorsements of Living Labs Global can be found here: www.livinglabs-global.com/endorsements.asp. Award Twitter Newsfeed: www.twitter.com/LivingLabsAward

About Citymart.com

CityMart.com is providing the secure online submission, showcasing and evaluation platform for the Award process as part of a vision to revolutionise the way cities procure, invest and regulate services. CityMart.com is a technology start-up offering a professional networking and market exchange platform that provides new scalability to build a rapidly growing community of more than 1,000 solution providers and 250+ cities.

CityMart.com offers social networking, market intelligence, evaluation and market development tools to all professionals working with innovative services in cities.


About Oracle

Oracle Corporation is acting as corporate partner to promote global smart city solutions.

Oracle's Solutions for Smart Cities, which are based on our experience with local government customers and best-in-class technology and applications, enable you to do the following:

  • Smart Innovation - Resolve up to 90 percent (or more) of most government service requests through integrated multichannel services, including self-service Web/chat; local single numbers such as 311, 1823, 133, 115; Facebook; Twitter; e-mail, etc.
  • Smart Processes - Analyze and streamline key areas—service delivery, infrastructure expenditures, constituent feedback, and others—to determine which services to prioritize, extend, consolidate, or even discontinue
  • Smart Infrastructure - Modernize IT infrastructure to enable integration and interoperability within a city’s existing siloed legacy IT infrastructure and embedded intelligence into city infrastructure to enhance service delivery.
  • Link:  http://www.oracle.com/us/industries/public-sector/smart-cities.htm

About The Climate Group

The Climate Group delivers expertise in the evaluation and knowledge exchange around climate issues.

The Climate Group is an independent, not-for-profit organization, which brings together a global coalition of the world’s most powerful governments, brands and public figures across Asia, Europe and North America. Since 2004, we’ve been working with governments, business leaders and the world’s most influential individuals -- to push for the policies, technologies and investment we need to make the Clean Revolution commercially viable. Together, we have the power to create a smarter, better, more prosperous future for all.