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Driving smarter cities through the use of IoT devices, Use Case 1 transforms citizens into active data sources by encouraging their involvement in reporting environmental standards directly to the municipality via a web app. Tested in certain locations around Santander, the devices will measure variables significant to the wellbeing of the city’s inhabitants, such as noise levels, and overcrowding through the sketching of heat maps.

The web app will enable users to access and rate the quality of the data submitted, providing another layer of validation. Such activity will be encouraged via a rewards system targeting the most active users on the site. The format of this will be tested in the latter stages of piloting to optimise user engagement and data quality. User behaviour and interactions with the website will be tracked to gain insights on their preferences. The outcomes will inform the development of future solutions to meet their requirements.

Implementation will largely focus on creating the devices and testing how they gather this data, through the integration of various sensors. They will also incorporate new hardware and software security layers to improve reliability. Resultantly, citizens become directly involved in the daily routines of the municipality, generating new datasets that could be used by entrepreneurs to develop new services or solutions, thereby reinforcing the local ecosystem.


  • Santander Smart City: IoT infrastructure provider where the use case will take place
  • Citizens: as the end users, submitting data and also benefitting from that data as presented in the web app, enabling them to make informed decisions on how they use the city, e.g. if it’s a good day to go to the beach (using the heat map to show how crowded it is)
  • Municipality: becoming service providers establishing city-wide strategies and acting upon information aggregated within the app, such as excessive noise levels or overcrowding
  • SMEs in the M-Sec consortium: acting also as service providers and integrators, exploring innovative ways to create business models and apply the expertise provided by the IoT devices

GDPR compliance:

Data exchanged in this use case does not involve personal data, since in the early piloting stages citizens involved in the trials will not need to identify themselves to provide their input, therefore it presents no effects over GDPR.

Latest developments:

Majority of all stakeholders have been engaged already with an introduction to the use case and to gain their initial informal feedback. At least one meeting per stakeholder will be organised with the participation of the Santander Municipality and TST in the next few months. There is a demonstrable interest in the results of the project as there is potential to considerably improve the way citizens interact with the IoT devices, and improve how fast the municipality can react to notifications.

Lessons Learnt

The main lesson learnt has to do with the reliability/accuracy of the measurements provided by the low-cost sensors integrated within the prototype. In this regard, there was a concern about the accuracy of the provided measurements since low-cost sensors are less reliable compared to the high-end sensors used by meteorological services commonly used by citizens. For this reason, a further effort should be made to ensure the validity of the measured data through their calibration and the implementation of error compensation mechanisms.
In conclusion, the sustainability of the pilot will require the industrialization of the developed prototypes to ensure the reliability of the data provided.

From the end-users’ point of view, they liked the experience of walking around the park reading the QR codes, especially those who went with children.

How can I join?

Contact Arturo Medela: amedela@tst-sistemas.es

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