Smart City Update from Bergen: Enabling better city planning through effective use of data on new platform

The city of Bergen aims to be a fossil fuel free city by 2030. This goal means that no fossil energy is to be used within city limits: fossil free transport, fossil free port, fossil free heating and fossil free waste management. 2009 was the year with the highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for Bergen, with more than one million tons of CO2-equivalents. Over the period from 2009 to 2020, emissions have decreased by 27 %.  

The largest reductions have come in the sectors road transport and stationary energy (heating). Emissions from road transport have been reduced by 33 % from 2009-2020. Important contributions have been the electrification of passenger cars, as well as increased use of biofuel. Within stationary energy, there has been an 81% decrease in emissions in the same time period. The key contribution factor has been the national ban on heating with mineral oil. 

To meet Bergen’s sustainability goals, the city is working on implementing measures such as a zero-emission zone, a car free zone and mobility hubs. We are using both city wide greenhouse gas statistics, indicators and user statistics to measure progress towards our goals, but they all have their weaknesses: the statistics comes 1-2 years late, and the indicators and user statistics both give limited information. At the same time, the information requirements for effective implementation of planned measures are high. To meet the high requirements, both in terms of effective city planning and monitoring of the effects different measures has on the city, the city of Bergen is using an ongoing innovation project on "data lakes" and open data to develop tools for better city planning and monitoring. 

Through the Interreg project SCORE, internal IT resources as well as hired IT consultants are brought together with city development advisors in Bergen to develop smart public service innovations, e.g. the mobility dashboard. The SCORE project has also enabled project members from the municipality of Bergen to connect with other cities' developer communities, e.g. the cities of Bodø, Gothenborg and Stavanger. 

The city of Bergen is developing a platform for data storage and use in a "data lake" project. Relevant data is collected to serve its purpose in the data lake. The data lake can contain structured data from relational databases (e.g. SQL), semi-structured data (e.g. CSV, XML, JSON), non-structured data (e.g. e-mail, documents, PDF) and/or external data sources and binary data (e.g. sound, images and video). Through the use of a data lake, different data can be stored in its original format. As part of the SCORE project Bergen is producing a mobility dashboard with the aim of displaying information (both graphically and numerical representations) that enables both better city planning and monitoring of effects of various measures that are being implemented in the city.