AWS Public Sector Blog

Smart City Solutions Built on AWS

Smart cities around the world are collecting and using data to make decisions in real or near real-time to better serve citizens, protect our environment, and lower costs. For example, smart technology is helping to lower congestion in streets, reduce pollution by optimizing transportation infrastructure, lower energy consumption by employing real-time analysis sensors to optimize just-in-time or incident-based illumination, and providing faster response to public safety incidents via real-time capture and analysis of sensor and surveillance data. These cities are transforming operations and services through their smart use of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

Most smart city solutions rely on a combination of core technologies (compute, storage, databases, and data warehouses) and advanced technologies (big data analytics, machine learning, IoT, and ingesting streaming data). The cloud allows cities to create new services with the goal of making citizen’s lives better while optimizing resources.

Important examples of smart city solutions built on AWS include:

  • The New York City Department of Transportation’s mission is to improve the safety of New Yorkers by enhancing the city’s transportation infrastructure. To support the city’s Vision Zero traffic and pedestrian safety initiative, the NYDOT built web applications Vision Zero View and iRide NYC on the cloud. Vision Zero View uses crowdsourcing to collect traffic safety data, which can be used to redesign streets and traffic patterns with the goal of reducing traffic fatalities to zero in New York City.
  • The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore is a government agency responsible for all land transport development, policies, and enforcement, and is key to the economic development of Singapore. Transporting over 2.2 million users a day, the LTA has touchpoints generating public feedback that required quick response time, which led LTA to consider the cloud. AWS provided a more cost-effective solution with a faster roll out time and a disaster recovery solution. LTA began using AWS for web hosting instead of building their own datacenter and experienced a 60% cost savings when compared to an on-premises infrastructure with the security posture required for a government agency.
  • Peterborough City Council (PCC) is a council charged with governing the City of Peterborough, a leading UK Digital City. Integrating data from weather stations, smart energy meters, IoT devices installed in people’s homes, and automated libraries with the council’s core applications and datasets, PCC aims to run the city in a revolutionary new way. Arcus Global recommended AWS to be the sole provider of the infrastructure for the project due to its innovation, elasticity, and breadth of services. The AWS deployment acts as a hub for all legacy applications, integration to smart city IoT devices, analytics, and SaaS applications.
  • The ‘Smart Airport Experience’ project was funded by the government-run Technology Strategy Board in the UK and implemented at London City Airport, working with a technology team led by Living PlanIT. The goal of the project was to demonstrate how IoT technologies could be used to both enhance customer experiences and improve operational efficiency at a popular business airport, which already offers fast check-in. The project used the Living PlanIT Urban Operating System (UOS™) hosted in an AWS environment as the backbone for real-time data collection, processing, analytics, marshalling, and event management to help travelers navigate checkpoints, purchase meals, and get to their gates as efficiently as possible.
  • Transport for London (TfL) is London’s integrated transport authority responsible for all forms of transport, including Tube, buses, roads, trams, river, DLR, above ground, cycling, walking, coaches, freight, taxis and more. TfL is responsible for approximately 24 million journeys a day on their network. Through open data and cloud technology, TfL was able to deliver new services to an increasing population, which led to improvements in reliability, customer experience, and significant cost savings. To learn more, click here.
  • Leveraging AWS infrastructure, the City of Chicago was able to launch OpenGrid, a real-time, open source situational awareness program intended to improve the quality of life for citizens and improve efficiency of city operations. OpenGrid allows the public to interact with the data in order to see the information about the city related to business license filings, traffic and weather concerns, and emergency response calls via 311. With AWS, the City of Chicago has the flexibility and agility to deliver better citizen services in Chicago. In addition, Chicago placed the open source code for the platform on AWS allowing other cities to create similar programs.
  • PetaJakarta is an applied research project originally supported by the University of Wollongong’s Global Challenges Program and a Twitter data grant. It brings together mobile mapping and local flood information for the city of Jakarta, Indonesia. The platform lets the 28 million citizens of Jakarta share real-time flood information in a part of the world increasingly affected by flooding. In addition to the collection and dissemination of information by community members through location-enabled mobile devices, researchers can complement existing manual water gauges with water-level-sensing devices to inexpensively increase monitoring across the waterway network in Jakarta. The PetaJakarta team is now based at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is preparing for the launch of, which will serve more cities, have a wider social media reach, pull from additional data sources, and utilize a new architecture.


Learn how you can make your city a smart city with AWS here.

Check back on the blog as we will be sharing a follow-up post with a deep dive into the AWS services for smart cities.