Service for the citizens:
The project sets out to develop integrated modular
and interoperable telematic systems for the management of different
municipal services and transactions between citizens, small and medium
enterprises and administrations. The services will be developed in each
city according to common guidelines e.g. smart cards in Brescia.
Exchange of applications:
One of the main advantages and strengths of the
EQUAL approach is the transfer of expertise and know-how between EQUAL
sites, but mainly the sharing of software modules and services, e.g.
The libraries" application from Ronneby will be implemented
in Metz. As a result, EQUAL employs the best practice" approach,
defined as Centres of Excellence".
Validation of functionality of services:
EQUAL plans to verify, both on small and large
scale, the EQUAL subsystems, the prototype functionality and the achieved
integration. A fundamental issue in EQUAL is the security of Internet
connections, legal and regulatory issues and electronic payment. EQUAL
will recommend solutions to overcome legal, institutional and financial
barriers to telematic services deployment.
To ensure that the project results conform to
the user requirements, EQUAL has created a network of users, called
User Reference Group.
Knowledge and technology to be used
Telematic components including multi-media products and services will
be extensively used in the project.
In particular :
- High speed intra-administration networks : dedicated
LAN and WAN
- Internet servers: based on WWW platform
- GIS and Multimedia Archiving Systems: for the mapping,
recording and presenting the thematic data related to the different
- High Definition terminals: for displaying the different
geographical areas and the thematic situations with sufficient details
Public Access Terminals (Electronic kiosks) and urban Variable Message
- Multi-function chip-cards: to be used as identification
mean and "electronic payment" in integrate multi-function
- Mobile networks (defined as supporting networks for
services offered through portable terminals): mainly SWIFT technology.
Global EQUAL Reference model
The access to the City Server is guaranteed simply through a direct connection,
through public networks, and that can be done by using any browser from
any of the three channels explained.
The City Server is composed by four different layers (from left to right
in the figure below):
- the first layer at all is the module in charge of managing the SSL
protocol, which has to guarantee for a secure connection, whenever
- then there is the Graphical User Interface, which
should be as reusable as possible from city to city. Apart from this
issue the GUI will allow the Citizen to access to different kind of
- access to specific applications which have been
directly implemented on the City Web Server, such as local search
engines for public transportation or environment information;
- access to the Information System of the Public
Administration which will be managed through the proper CGIs
- launch of the available applications from the Centre of
- Web Server. This is the usual layer to map the Client
requirements into the corresponding information processing and retrieval;
- The link between the City Web Server
and the specific "place" where the information
is available, either through a direct access (e.g., an HTML page) or
after some processing (e.g., the result of a complex call to a Centre
of excellence application).
User Reference Group
As part of the consortium, EQUAL plan to set up a pan-European user group
of local and users interested in following and exploiting the project
achievements. The members are city administrations, local authorities,
citizen associations which are already identified in the local activities
plans. They are all already heavvily involved in the cities life as local
entities directly linked to the City Administrations (Leicester, Metz,
Linz, Bilbao, Brescia, Ronneby and Bornholm). Each of the 6 EQUAL Contractor
Administrations will respectively contact and formally indicate 5 Members
of the Users Reference Group; one of these will be a "twin city"
(city with special relationship and links) and 4 will be local users.
Therefore, this Group will be initially formed by 30 Members - 6
of which will be represented by cities administrations non belonging to
the consortium - , which will be immediately contacted and fully informed
about the project activities.
The User Reference Group represents users of the applications developed
in the project. This group controls directly activities in the various
countries and provides co-ordination from the point of view of the user
They will balance EQUAL requirements with technical
possibilities. Cost effectiveness and friendliness of the devised
applications is also monitored by this group. This entity will also contribute
to evaluate outputs and results of Demonstrators activities. The User
Reference Group will be open to other municipalities, regions and other
authorities and citizen associations willing to exchange ideas and research
results in the domain of EQUAL.
Applications / Services
EQUAL cities believe that telematics should be adapted to the needs and
background of the users, rather than trying to adapt the users to telematics.
These needs of users living and working in EQUAL Sites are multi-sectorial
and strongly integrated: therefore they should be addressed in a comprehensive
and broad way. Even if strongly inter-related, these addressed users requirements
could be classified in four wide areas:
- General municipal services to citizens, that could be defined
as "Public information Services"
- Mobility, environmental and emergencies services, that could
be defined as "Urban Management Applications".
- The complex transactions between citizens and local administrations
- including multi-purpose payment means (smart cards) - that could be
defined as "Public Transaction Services".
- Educational, social and cultural underlying services for
students, disabled and elderly people and interested citizens, that
could be defined as "Cultural services"
Public information services to citizens
A first list of "standard services" will be included by all
EQUAL Sites. In many cases this information is broadcast through Public
Access Terminals/ Electronic Kiosks.
These services include information on:
- Public offices timing
- Procedures, forms utilised in local public offices
- Basic laws/rules related to city life
- Automatic certification
- School services
- Kindergarden places
- Technological services (information on public services as water, gas,
electricity, waste management, etc.)
- Tourist information
- and other "simple" and already working information systems
focused on local public activity
Urban Management Application
- Public services on mobile terminals
- Environment monitoring and forecasts,
- Traffic management linked to air pollution
- Information on traffic and public transport
- Multifunction smart cards
- Online public procedures & transactions
- Remote connections with local libraries, including distance learning
- Museum information archiving and public access
Facts and Figures
- approx. 1100 person-months
- 39% EC contribution (shared cost model)
- 7 Contractors
- 13 Associated contractors
Sphere of influence
EQUAL is expected to effect:
- 1.300.000 inhabitants
- 500.000 households
- 200.000 personal computers
- 80.000 Internet users
- 8.000 contacts per day expected