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Amazing Spaces, Smart Places

We trialled five innovative pilot projects in our parks and open spaces from 3 – 27 June 2019 as part of our Smart Belfast programme.

The aim of the projects was to explore how data and innovative technologies can help us manage our parks and open spaces, ensuring they are safe, accessible and enjoyed by all.

Through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), five companies were awarded funding of up to £20,000 each to develop and trial an innovative solution in one of our parks or opens spaces.

The projects use a range of smart technology including:

  • Internet of Things sensors (sensors which connect to the internet)
  • an intelligent monitoring camera with artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision, and
  • a community currency app which rewards citizens for using our parks and open spaces. 

Pilot projects

Project Description

iSensing pilot project

Belfast City Cemetery
We worked with iSensing Ltd on a pilot project in Belfast City Cemetery, using anonymous WiFi connection data to find out how many people were visiting the area, when and where. 

The aim was to keep the cemetery safe and reduce antisocial behaviour, especially after hours when the cemetery is closed.

Various sensors in the cemetery detected mobile devices (using MAC addresses) when they tried to connect to WiFi, and counted them as visitors to the area.


iSensing's website for more information.

CivicDollars pilot project

Connswater Greenway and Victoria Park
We worked with Bann Technology on a pilot project in Connswater Greenway and Victoria Park. 

They have developed a community currency mobile app called CivicDollars which rewards citizens for using our parks and open spaces.
The app aims to encourage citizens to be more active and improve their lifestyle, as well as use Belfast’s parks and open spaces.
 
Visit CivicDollar's website for more information. 

Civica pilot project

Botanic Gardens
We worked with Civica on a pilot project in Botanic Gardens, using anonymous WiFi connection data to better understand the movement of people and footfall in Botanic Gardens, including after hours when the park is closed.

Civica’s ParkKeepr application uses various sensors to detect mobile devices (using MAC addresses) when they try to connect to WiFi, and count them as visitors to the area. 

We will not identify any individuals as all data is de-personalised (pseudonymised).


Visit Civica's website for more information. 

SparroWatch pilot project

Belfast City Cemetery

We worked with SparroWatch on a pilot project in Belfast City Cemetery to help support our existing mobile CCTV cameras which are used to reduce antisocial behaviour in our parks and opens spaces. 

SparroWatch’s intelligent camera system, SparroCam, uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to determine what is happening in a location, without the need for human intervention.

The system enabled us to monitor the area after hours and provides us with real-time notifications.


Visit Sparrowatch's website for more information.

Pitchbooking pilot project

Girdwood Community Hub sports pitches
We worked with Pitchbooking on a pilot project in Girdwood Community Hub, using anonymous WiFi connection data to find out more about how and when the sport pitches in this area are being used. 

Various sensors located at the pitches were able to detect mobile devices (using MAC addresses) when they try to connect to WiFi, and count them as visitors to the area. 

This included pre-booked sessions as well as use of the pitches that hadn’t been booked in advance.

We will not identify any individuals as all data is de-personalised (pseudonymised).

Visit Pitchbooking's website for more information. 

More information

Contact Community Safety on 028 9027 0469 or email envhealth@belfastcity.gov.uk for more information on any of these projects.


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City Innovation