The Transition Concept to Data-driven City Management of Kazan

The Concept was developed by the Executive Committee of Kazan in tandem with Gems development, the developer of the Geometa geoanalytical platform, to ensure the implementation of a data-driven decision support system for the development of the territory of Kazan.

The integrated municipal geoinformation system of Kazan (the System) is designed to solve the city problems associated with the processing of spatial data. The system enables 19 municipal services to be delivered digitally and automate 46 work processes.

Delivering digital public services is only part of the complex tasks of the System. The main challenge is to organize data in order to implement analytical functions, which allow the city authorities to receive up-to-date information about the city. This enables to make decisions on the necessary volumes of financing for municipal programs and city projects, which in general will increase the investment attractiveness of the city. Data-driven decision support allows to move away from subjective assessment to measurable indicators.

The concept offers options for developing the system functionality in the areas of social, public and transport infrastructure. At this point, there are 17 cases in the concept, but we’re telling about the most interesting of them.

Normative development of social infrastructure

When planning the development of the city and preparing territorial planning documents, the number and placement of educational, sports, and cultural facilities must be in accordance with the requirements of local urban planning standards: for a certain number of people within the regulatory radius of accessibility, there must be an appropriate number of schools , kindergartens, cultural, leisure and sports facilities.

Territorial planning documents are not updated more frequently than every few years. The calculation of the city’s needs for social infrastructure facilities is carried out by the urban planner at the stage of collecting initial data at the time of the start of work on adjusting the general plan. Meanwhile, the city is constantly being built and developed, plans are changing, and by the time the master plan is approved, some of the information is no longer relevant. City managers do not have tools that would allow them to see the situation “here and now” or evaluate various development options.

Objective:

To visualize the state of the territory in compliance with the local urban planning standards in terms of providing the residents with social infrastructure facilities. In addition, to visualize the results of modeling various scenarios: how will the quality of life and the load on the territory at a specific point in the city change if a residential building or a kindergarten is built there? Where will the construction bring the maximum benefit?

Implementation:

“Visualization” functionality

The tool visualizes the territory of the whole city in accordance with the local urban planning standards in different categories: education, sports, culture. For each category, the user sees on the map the number of the population and its territorial distribution, broken down into 3 groups:

The number and location of preschool institutions in accordance with the local urban planning standards, taking into account their actual workload:

Visualization of the work of the tool: matching the number and placement of preschool institutions

“Modeling” functionality

The tool enables users to add planned social infrastructure facilities or planned residential development to the map, and the system visualizes the result of the changes.

Optimal development of social infrastructure on the example of youth policy

One of the key performance indicators for the implementation of youth policy is «Increase in the number of children involved in institutions dealing with youth affairs». To achieve the indicator, a number of basic objectives of a systemic nature needs to be addressed. The result can be achieved through a more reasonable (that is, convenient, rational and more responsive to the needs of residents) placement of institutions dealing with youth affairs, for example sport clubs, dance classes or music workshops. The decision on the need to build a new institution is made by experts. The demand for each type of club is also estimated by experts.

Objective:

To increase the effectiveness of the development of institutions by creating a tool that allows making and justifying decisions based on measurable data.

Implementation:

Functionality # 1

The tool visualizes the coverage area of each youth policy institution and each club separately. Moreover, the coverage is visualized in such a way that the real addresses where children who attend this section live are taken into account. One therefore assumes how far children live from the service (total and average distance from the place of residence to the club). And when the total distance is significantly further than similar distances for other institutions, this indicates either that the object receives a load from neighboring territories that are not provided with such a service, or that this particular club (with these particular teachers) is very popular, and people ready to visit it despite the not too convenient location.

In addition, a residential building can be examined. The system creates and demonstrates links to institutions attended by the children living in this particular residential building, and can estimate the total or average distance from the house to the clubs and display infographics for the whole city.

Coverage of all vocal and dance classes of “Teenager club”:

Vocal dance and choreography

Functionality # 2

The objective is to provide residents with a convenient and simple service that will help them find at once all possible options for classes or clubs that the city provides, and choose the most suitable one for their children. That is, to create an open centralized database of all institutions of youth policy. Moreover, information about classes or clubs can be combined with performance metrics. For example, for the sports club, there can be information on the number of winners of various competitions, for the music workshop, the number of participants in concerts, festivals or winners of competitions; or the number of graduates of classes or clubs enrolled in universities.

Coverage of the Tasma judo club:

coverage of the judo section

Transport. Traffic safety. Registration and analysis of accidents:

The goal of the municipal program «Improving Road Safety in Kazan» is to reduce the number of deaths in road accidents, compared to the same period in previous years.

Today there is no service that could visually show on the map the places of concentration of accidents, their causes, and could also provide an opportunity to compare these data with the location of road signs and traffic lights. In addition, there is no way to compare historical data, to check the effectiveness of the measures taken: whether the number of accidents decreased after the installation of a road sign or traffic light.

The better the quality of crash data, the easier it will be to find the most effective solution for each problem area in the city.

Objective:

Create a cartographic analytical service that would allow visualization of accidents, their concentrations, causes, and would also allow comparing this information with other data layers related to road safety (traffic lights, road signs, etc.).

Implementation:

Functionality #1

Information about an accident, containing all the necessary information for making decisions on road safety: type of accident, coordinates, time, severity, pedestrian participation, number of deaths, etc.

Functionality #2

Convenient data visualization that enables users to select a time interval, see the places of concentration of road accidents, infographics on the severity and harm to health, as well as the participation of pedestrians or children in road accidents.

Functionality #3

Ability to compare traffic sign data with accident data to verify that the goal of the sign installation (reducing the number of incidents in a given section) is achieved.

Places of concentration of accidents. The size of the icons is proportional to the number of accidents at a given point. The size of black symbols is proportional to the total number of injured pedestrians in a given place of concentration of an accident:

number of accidents

The number of accidents. When zooming in on the map, the system shows each accident. Black symbols with a number indicate the number of dead pedestrians:

places of concentration of accidents

Transport. Vehicle location

One of the data layers contained in the System is a digital orthophotomap. This is a photographic plan of the area, which shows the earth’s surface and objects on it with precise reference to a given coordinate system. A single coordinate space contains high-resolution images of the territory, the accuracy of which is equivalent to a topographic survey at a scale of 1:500. Today, machine vision technologies make it possible to identify and coordinate orthophotomap objects.

According to the actual data, it is possible to assess the distribution of cars across the city, places of increased density of car congestion, compare the density of the street and road network and the number of parking spaces with the actual density of car placement, and evaluate the workload of the spaces nearby residential apartment buildings.

Objective:

Create a data layer about the coordinates of each car in the city based on orthophotomap data.

Implementation:

The system has data layers with coordinates of all vehicles in accordance with orthophotomaps.

Coordinates of each car in Kazan city:

Coordinates of each car in Kazan city

The density of cars in Kazan city:

The density of cars in Kazan city

The density of parking lots in residential apartment buildings in Kazan city:

Crowding of cars in the yards of residential buildings

Housing and communal services. Analysis of utility infrastructure incidents based on data from warrants for earthworks

Warrants for earthworks in connection with emergency restoration work on engineering communications are also contained in the System in the form of spatial objects with georeferencing.

The System contains data on almost 12.5 thousand issued warrants for earthworks. In its original representation, the earthworks layer does not give an adequate picture of the concentration of emergency restoration work sites on engineering communications, since the geometric dimensions of the objects differ significantly, and the places of their multiple layering are not visible to the user.

However, the data contained in the earthworks layer is sufficiently complete, regularly updated, and has a high additional potential utility for making decisions.

Objective:

Create a tool that enables visualization of data on the concentration of accidents on engineering communications based on data from warrants for earthworks.

Implementation:

Functionality #1

Identification of places of concentration of emergency restoration work on engineering communications. Places of concentration indicating the number of works:

Illumination of places of concentration indicating the number of works

Functionality #2

Displaying a list of organizations responsible for carrying out work on each of the places of concentration, indicating the number:

Displaying a list of organizations indicating the number of orders in the context of each organization

Functionality #3

Ability to select the time interval, during which the number of works is calculated and the places of concentration of works are determined.

Functionality #4

Ability to select an organization responsible for carrying out the work and build a map of work concentration areas in the context of the selected organization.

Developing functionality, accumulating data and expanding interaction with external systems, the System becomes a single source of comprehensive and up-to-date information about the territory of the city, allowing city authorities to make quick and high-quality decisions.

Introducing Version 5.18 of Geometa

During the period from October to March, 11 versions of Geometa were released. What major changes have occurred during this time and how the system has changed from version 5.7 to 5.18?

The excess of the floor area ratio is marked in red on the map

The excess of the floor area ratio is marked in red on the map.

New features delivered as separate modules

The "Analytical ruler" module allows identifying intersections between land parcels according to specified parameters.

The “Analytical ruler” module allows identifying intersections between land parcels according to specified parameters.

New features available in updates

You can find more detailed information about all the innovations in the Geometa documentation, section “New in the System” in the online help available to users of the system.

Snow Removal Monitoring with Geometa

In cities where a significant amount of snow falls, prompt cleaning of the streets is very important for the safety of residents and the economic well-being of businesses.

In order to eliminate the effects of a snow cyclone, as well as to monitor the snow removal campaign, an interactive snow removal map based on the Geometa platform has been developed to help the authorities of the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to coordinate the actions of road and communal services, road police, and residents. In the application, residents and city services mark the places where it is necessary to remove the snow, the back office optimizes the transportation routes and schedules, residents check the implementation of plans.

With the help of the map, residents can find out the status of each specific regional highway, street, driveway, or communal area, as well as assess the quality of snow removal. Green — complete, yellow — working, red — next, blue — next day.

Snow removal map of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk city

If on the map the driveway is marked as cleaned, but in fact, it is covered with snow, then residents can report the discrepancy and it will be promptly processed. The message can be sent on social networks, by phone, e-mail, or messenger, as well as through the online portal. A monitoring group has been organized in the city. The following criteria are applied: clearing the road from curb to curb, the presence of a sidewalk, the ability to travel to the communal area, to shops and pharmacies, garbage collection, cleaning in the territory of social facilities.

Geometa is your digital assistant in unpredictable winter weather!

Green Planning of Public Spaces for Sustainable City Development

Today cities worldwide face increasing challenges from expanding populations, limited resources, the growing impact of climate change, and serious air-quality problems.

Increasing the number of green spaces within urban areas could be a powerful solution to the problem of air pollution. Experts claim that one tree can absorb 150 kilograms of carbon dioxide annually, and it is an excellent filter for urban pollutants and fine particulates.

Also, trees can offer other benefits: cities need to be designed for people, with green streets and parks as centers of social life.

In 2015 17 Sustainable Development Goals were established by the United Nations General Assembly, as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The 11th Sustainable Development Goal is ensuring sustainable cities and communities. One of the indicators for measuring this goal is the development of areas of public and green space in a city.

Green public spaces in a sustainable city should be characterized by:

Geometa

Today every city should work on improving green spaces and boosting the number of trees on their streets and in parks. Geometa can help successfully solve this task.

There is a special module for greening in Geometa. The key capabilities:

The map shows a map of green spaces


As a result of module implementation, city authorities receive:

Green space map with object card with detailed information


Ability to maintain active and project registers

As well as greening planning projects, greening activities, acts of inspection of greening objects.

The module provides:

The video shows the calculation of the population proportion with access to public green spaces. This indicator reflects the ability to visit city parks and recreation areas frequently and without wasting time.


The capabilities of the module can be extended with additional data. For example, a soil map can be added to help optimize planting locations for different tree species. In case, if existing trees need to be removed and new ones need to be planted in another place instead, the calculation of compensation planting can be automated.

Today cities are recognizing the benefits of a green approach to urban planning to reduce air pollution and build natural environmental resilience. Geometa is your digital assistant in this task.

Cultural Heritage Management with Geometa

Geometa is an essential tool of decision making for conservation, protection, enhancement of cultural resources.

Geometa centralizes all relevant cultural resource data in one place by allowing to input, store, analyze and update it. Having access to accurate and up-to-date map-based information enables authorities to manage heritage resources more effectively. Geometa combines inventory with other data such as natural resources, demography, engineering networks, and land use, so it can be used as a complex Cultural Heritage Management system.

Geometa allows creating zoning strategies in order to minimize potential negative impacts on cultural heritage resources. Geometa provides information on land use regulations within each zone and automatically outlines defined protection zones. Land use regulations define types of commercial activity, height restrictions, permitted materials for new construction, etc.

The map shows cultural heritage sites and their protection zones


A lack of information on the location of heritage resources or the real need for heritage conservation can result in damage from the activities of construction projects. So it’s essential that works carried out nearby cultural resources are heritage-friendly. Geometa helps to communicate cultural resource data to third parties and enhance interagency cooperation by allowing access to the most up-to-date site information. The success of conservation management depends upon the degree to which stakeholders, such as utility providers, development agencies, road construction companies, etc, are involved in every process related to cultural resources and based their decisions on the same information.

The cultural resource protection measures should be included within local urban development plans. This can be achieved by producing a cultural heritage management plan in tandem with local developers.

Conservation plans should be supported by the local community. Geometa provides online portals with detailed map-based information about cultural resources and their management plans to ensure the needs of the residents are adequately addressed.

Geometa provides analytics of cultural heritage sites. For instance, an assessment of the residents’ density and land carrying capacity helps to identify areas nearing carrying capacity limits. Cultural Heritage Management Module has been successfully implemented in Kazan, «the third capital of Russia» with a population of 1,5 million people. The map of the city includes 589 objects on state protection as objects of cultural heritage, out of them 137 are federal significance, 379 are republican and 73 are local. The ensemble of the Kazan Kremlin was included in the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.

Geometa Helps Implement a 15-Minute City Concept

The pandemic provided food for thought regarding new approaches to planning and designing cities in a way that allows them to quickly adapt to the risks of new epidemics, as well as meet the urgent needs of citizens in a changing environment.

Smart urban planning prioritizes the human element in designing cities. City residents should have equal and fair access to essential urban services and access to opportunities that provide city, urban amenities, variety, and to other people, that’s why people choose to live in cities.

A 15-Minute City is a residential urban concept in which most daily necessities can be accomplished by either walking or cycling from residents’ homes. It should take no longer than 15 minutes to get from the place where you live to anywhere whether that’s to go to work, to do the shopping, to access healthcare, to entertain. This concept was primarily developed to reduce carbon emissions by reducing the use of cars.

The 15-Minute City is an iteration of the idea of ‘neighborhood units’ developed by American planner Clarence Perry during the 1920s. The theory of ‘new urbanism’, an urban planning and design concept promoting walkable cities, subsequently gained popularity in the US in the 1980s. Similar versions of «urban cells» or 30- and 20-minute neighborhoods have also emerged across the globe in the past decade.

The global COVID-19 pandemic and climate-changing problems accelerated the consideration and implementation of the 15-minute city. In July 2020, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group published a framework for cities to «build back better» using the 15-minute concept, referring to plans implemented in Milan, Madrid, Edinburgh, and Seattle after COVID-19 outbreaks. Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris is implementing the 15-minute city concept in Paris.

Geometa allows urban planners to focus on the importance of neighborhood planning.

Today most cities have separate areas used primarily for business or entertainment. Fragmented urban planning results in sprawl, with people having to travel long distances across the city to get to their destination. With Geometa urban planners can bring all the elements for living and working into local neighborhood communities.

Any city benefits or social facilities must be rationally located. This means that the required facility is needed to be located within a radius of convenient pedestrian accessibility from the place of residence, and its capacity is sufficient for everyone.

Expressed in numbers, these parameters are enshrined in local urban planning codes. That means, it is an indicator of how many benefits the city undertakes to provide residents. Each city can have its own unique set of standards, which is formed based on local conditions.

We have developed a tool, which we called «The devouring algorithm». The tool allows assessing the needs of residents in social facilities and modeling transformations. It assesses the availability of social facilities, compares with the standards, and visualizes areas where there is a shortage. It will allow to simulate scenarios, select priority activities, and justify them. Also, it checks the compliance of the actual or planned state of the territory with the requirements of urban planning standards.

How will the quality of life and the load on the territory at a specific point in the city change if a residential building or a kindergarten is built there? Geometa helps urban planning professionals determine how, where, and when their designs can have the greatest impact to improve the quality of life.

How the devouring algorithm works:

The map shows the results of applying the devouring algorithm to calculate the childcare availability in Kazan city

Geometa designs a decentralized urban planning model, in which each local neighborhood contains all the basic social functions for living and working. This approach will ultimately improve the quality of life, reduce the need for unnecessary travel, strengthen a sense of community and improve sustainability and liveability.

Geometa Identifies Popular Spots in a City Based on Photos of the Social Networks

Cities are multifunctional spaces that offer a great variety of attractions, facilities, services, and activities. How to determine which places are the most popular? Generally, official data sources do not provide detailed and precise information on the places most visited in cities. Tourists and residents leave a digital «footprint» since they take a lot of photographs in different city’s locations and upload them to social networks. This data can be analyzed to identify the main city’s attractions.

Geometa helps to identify and analyze the most photographed spaces in a city using AI and BigData.


As you can see from this video, the areas of greatest density denote the popular spots in the city.


Understanding the most popular spots in a city is important for local authorities. In spaces with a high prevalence of residents and tourists, city managers may consider actions to improve the urban environment and experience of people, such as creating pedestrian-only streets or widening pavements, providing free WiFi in public spaces, pinpointing new opportunities for business for the private sector. These actions positively affect the urban environment, making it more comfortable and safer. Also, it helps to identify natural and cultural heritage locations with under-exploited tourism potential.

Geometa helps not only to identify popular spots but also to analyze the patterns of tourist flows in cities or track the dynamics of the residents’ movement within one day in order to create the most convenient routes and identify areas that are attractive for investment.

Flood Hazard and Flood Risk Mapping with Geometa

Flooding is the most recurring type of disaster and the one that affects human lives most. Mapping flood-prone areas is a crucial element of flood risk management and land use planning.

The first step towards flood risk assessment is the creation of flood hazard maps. Flood hazard mapping reveals the territories, which are susceptible to floods and includes information on location, frequency of occurrence, and severity in three scenarios: a low probability scenario, a medium probability scenario, and a high probability scenario.

Flood hazard map

The purpose of creating flood hazard maps is to analyze and communicate flood characteristics and plan the appropriate actions as part of efficient flood management. They can be used as a decision-making tool in preventing flood damages, land use planning, and providing information on floods in rescue operations.

Flood hazard maps can be used by multiple stakeholders such as city authorities, urban planners, emergency services, and residents. For public access purposes, general maps with limited information can be created, depicting only the flood extent and protection measures. For use by city managers and emergency services for decision making more detailed information is required, therefore in Geometa flood hazard map encompasses other city information such as real estate data, engineering communications, public safety data, road networks data, building developments, and much more. Thus, in Geometa, flood hazard maps are updated in real-time.

Geometa provides the ability to combine the probability of a flood event (flood hazard map) and potential adverse consequences associated with the flood to human lives, the economy, and the environment. The result of this synergy is a flood risk map.

The main purpose of flood-risk mapping is to assist local authorities and residents to develop effective methods of decreasing flood-related damage. The most effective solution is to apply preventive measures in flood-vulnerable areas, such as zoning by-laws, building codes, and subdivision regulations to control land use within the flood-prone areas. With Geometa a lot of information on flood-vulnerable areas can be collected, in order to construct possible land-use scenarios, according to municipal legislation. Territories that are susceptible to flood can be used for purposes, which are less vulnerable to damage from it, such as agriculture, recreation areas, and parking lots. With Geometa all restrictions are checked to ensure that development on this territory is permitted.

We constructed the scenario of the flood event development for one of the Russian cities:


Understanding the best and worst-case scenarios, the available and required resources will lead to successful flood risk management.

Assessment of Parcel Boundary Data Accuracy with Geometa

The real estate cadastre data should be of adequate quality, especially when it comes to information in records about parcel boundaries. Boundaries define the extent of the legal limits of parcel’s ownership. Their reliability and accuracy strongly affect the quality of other cadastre data, such as the surface area of parcels.

Both residents and local authorities often face the problem of determining the boundaries of parcels. Sometimes even small discrepancies lead to litigation. The problem of eliminating such discrepancies in the boundaries between the real parcel and the documentation is acute.

Map of an assessment of parcel boundary data accuracy


Geometa provides a tool that allows calculating, down to centimeters, the range, which parcel boundaries cross over each other.

Map with examples of an assessment of parcel boundary data accuracy


Clear visualization of an assessment of parcel boundary data accuracy can be a valuable source of information for cadastre modernization or for verification of the data contained within it.

Geometa Helps to Monitor, Remove and Deter Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is a significant problem for local governments, as much as it is a public health issue, it is a threat to the environment, contaminating soil and nearby waterways. Also, it costs taxpayers millions to prevent, monitor, and clean.

Geometa provides a cost-effective approach to monitor, remove and deter illegal dumping, ensuring cities are safe and clean.

Until recently, on the island of Sakhalin the issue of illegal waste dumps was very relevant.

The solution: in addition to the construction of solid waste disposal facilities, operational monitoring of the newly appeared waste dumps and automatic display of them on the interactive map was organized. In the search for waste dumps, both images from drones and messages from residents are used. Any resident can send a message about the problem via an online portal and social media.

Information about the location, status (valid, overdue), and the date of waste collection is automatically displayed on the map in Geometa. If the deadline is delayed, the checkbox that marks the placement of illegal waste dump turns red. The process of removing illegal waste dumps becomes transparent and can be easily controlled.

Map for monitoring illegal dumps, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

The result: During the year, 2,486 waste dumps were removed. Now there are about 370 current ones and operational work is underway on them.

But the best option is to deter the illegal dumping, reducing the cost of cleanup, preventing the toxins from entering the groundwater. Here are the main steps to help deter illegal dumping:

By providing cities with the smart solution to automate monitoring and enforcement of illegal waste dumps, Geometa helps keep cities cleaner and livable.

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