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The smart city strategy of Chilean capital Santiago will revolve around five main projects this year, the Santiago metropolitan government announced.
On the ICT side, the leading projects are a replication of its digital platform for managing municipal projects; a study to determine whether the government should invest in facial recognition software at sporting events; and continued work with IBM on an early-warning system for rain-induced landslides.
In April, the Santiago metropolitan government announced that the municipal projects platform, dubbed "DOM Digital" in Spanish, was now live in the boroughs of Macul, Puente Alto and El Bosque. The system is expected to reduce the administrative procedure for approving projects to 30 days instead of 200 days.
The facial recognition project seeks to address security problems at Chile's soccer stadiums, which have traditionally been the site of violent incidents. The project goes hand in hand with the publication of technical standards that soccer clubs should consider for biometric systems to filter out known offenders at the turnstiles.
The landslide early warning project was one of 16 projects around the world that won free consulting services from IBM in May 2015 as part of its Smarter Cities Challenge.
The other two projects refer more to transport and environmental issues, but nevertheless have ICT components since they are accompanied by smartphone apps for users. One is a program to make parking lots available for car-sharing services. To that end, the metropolitan government is in talks with several municipalities to draft rules for putting these lots out to tender.
In March, car concessionaire Kaufmann announced Chile's first car-sharing project, called Awto.cl, which is scheduled to become commercially active at the end of this month. The project will launch with 25 city cars serving the municipalities of Providencia, Santiago Centro, Lo Barnechea and Las Condes.
Awto CEO Francisco Loehnert told BNamericas that this project has no connection to Santiago government's plan, and he assumes that eventually the government will offer a car-sharing concession to firms such as his.
In the other remaining project, authorities will build some 10km of dedicated lanes to interconnect portions of the city's existing 258km of bike lanes. The city also has 2000 bikes available for sharing, which are used by 30,000 people.
In addition to these five active projects, the metropolitan government plans to run a study into ways to improve its public WiFi locations across the city, and ways to involve citizens in decisions on environmental issues.