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Welcome to UTA Newsletter – December 2023

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UTA participated to the Smart City Expo World Congres 2023, Barcelona

For three days, Urban Technology Alliance joined the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC23) in Barcelona to showcase UTA members’ activities and present the value of joining its global network of companies, cities, and universities dedicated to testing and validating smart city solutions. UTA had the privilege of engaging with a diverse array of interesting projects, dynamic companies, and forward-thinking city officials and exchanging views about the diverse ways of tackling city challenges.

Current activities of some UTA members were displayed. Kentyou’s smart intersection pilot in New York City, deployed in cooperation with Columbia University, as well as its smart logistics project in Barcelona, attracted considerable attention. Similarly, Shonan Future Verse, a project by NTTEast and Keio University in Japan, raised curiosity and interest among participants at the Smart City Expo.

Furthermore, we had the opportunity to learn about the smart city activities of governmental, academic, and public organizations, including the city of Kyiv (see the Kyiv Digital news item below), Stavanger, Bologna, Putrajaya, Turku, the International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC), and the University of Hradec Karlové.

We also caught up with current UTA members such as Tsukuba, Santander, Grenoble, and Busan, as well as Latitudo 40 and Kentyou.

We look forward to participating again next year in Smart City Expo 2024 and contributing our share to the widespread adoption of innovative smart city solutions.

Kyiv Digital: A Model of City Resilience

A powerful example of resilience amidst the ongoing challenges of conflict and destruction.

The city of Kyiv has emerged as a beacon of innovation in the realm of smart city governance. The Kyiv Digital app, a comprehensive digital platform, stands as a testament to the city’s unwavering commitment to digital transformation and citizen empowerment. 

At the 2023 Smart City World Congress in Barcelona, UTA was able to sit down and discuss the work of the Kyiv Digital team and in particular their Smart City App.

Generative AI: How are cities using it

Generative AI, such as ChatGPT or Google’s Bard services, is a rapidly evolving field with the potential to revolutionise the way our cities are run. 

Many cities are still at the beginning of their journey in using generative AI to improve local government and address some of the challenges they face when implementing this technology. However, a few cities have begun to explore the potential of Generative AI and early results show significant potential benefit. 

To help UTA members understand better this important area, let’s present some background and lessons based on initial investigation from Bloomberg’s City initiative, London’s Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) and Japan’s Yokosuke city.

Empowering Cities with the European Cloud-Edge-IoT Initiative

The European Cloud-Edge-IoT Initiative represents an original effort dedicated to leveraging the synergies of Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and edge computing with the goal of reshaping the operational landscape of cities. 

Serving as an overarching framework for more than 50 research and innovation projects funded by the EU, its primary objectives are to propel the momentum of cloud-edge-IoT and position the EU at the forefront of this emerging trajectory.

Among the projects collaborating within this initiative, the EU-funded COGNIFOG project, with UTA as a lead member, stands out. COGNIFOG is positioned to redefine urban living by establishing a seamless continuum from edge IoT devices to the cloud, promising a multitude of advantages for city personnel, mayors, and operational staff. This collaborative effort is poised to usher in a transformative wave of benefits for urban environments.

ExtraLabs joins UTA

Urban Technology Alliance is pleased to announce that the the French company ExtraLabs recently joined its global network of smart city innovators.

ExtraLabs is a pioneering research company which offers an innovative solution for  overcoming the challenges of expensive citywide 3D digital twin creation. ExtraLabs’ primary focus is providing a cost-effective, high-recency 3D maps data source, liberating local governments from the cycle of costly aerial surveys.

UTA Welcomes CrowdScan

Urban Technology Alliance is proud to announce that, starting from 1 January, 2024, the Belgian company CrowdScan will become a member of its global network of smart city innovators. CrowdScan specializes in crowd density measurement with through a technology that allows to circumvent the need for conventional surveillance methods such as cameras, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or reliance on mobile devices to obtain accurate, real-time, and reliable crowd data, ensuring the protection of privacy.

CrowdScan has so far deployed its solution in Barcelona, Antwerp, and Bruges, with applications in mobility and crowd awareness for local businesses; with more use cases coming soon.

Latitudo 40 improves its Urban Heat Island detection capabilities

The Italian company, and UTA Member, Latitudo 40 has developed a data analytics platform based on satellite imagery and artificial intelligence that measures with very high precision a number of urban metrics, including urban heat islands – a significant challenge in Europe in the past few years. 

In a continuous effort to improve its services, Latitudo 40 has just updated its Land Surface Temperature (LST) layer to v. 2.0.  

Throughout November, the algorithm underwent improvements for more accurate temperature estimation in smaller areas, refining the model’s ability to determine temperature in locations like train stations and tree lines.

The Land Surface Temperature (LST) layer operating at 10 meters resolution is a powerful example of Earth Observation technology combined with Machine Learning to extract valuable information from raw satellite data. 

This upgraded Latitudo 40 LST Layer provides urban planners with improved capabilities to identify areas in the city requiring intervention.

Feel free to reach out to Latitudo 40 for a demo of its solution or to explore how its platform can enhance your decision-making process.

Smart City Events and Funding Opportunities

As part of its activity aimed at enhancing information sharing and to provide opportunities to its members, UTA has launched 2 new webpages, which aim at keeping track of smart city events and public funding opportunities related to the development, testing and implementation of smart city solutions. 

These new pages aim to provide members with up-to-date information and will be updated on a regular basis with new information as it becomes available.

With its extensive experience in forming consortia for project funding and its vast network of companies and institutions in Asia, Europe, and North America, UTA can assist interested organizations in applying for project funding. If you are interested, please contact us at

How can UTA help your organization?

It is fascinating to see that each city is unique yet all share similar concerns that can be addressed together by joining forces and sharing our know-how. That is why UTA has been founded. Benefits of UTA include:

  • Access to global matchmaking platform, allowing cities with specific needs to work directly with technology and solution providers on UTA supported projects
  • A wide pool of best practices captured through real world projects – available to help jump start smart city projects
  • Quarterly events to share experiences and discuss key trends
  • Insights from world leading experts – people who are front and centre of the Smart City movement

Watch Dr. Levent Gürgen, president of UTA, give an overview of the Urban Technology Alliance.