Snap4City: FIWARE powered smart app builder for sentient cities

Challenge & Context

Cities are rapidly transforming their services in order to address current societal, environmental and economic challenges. Vertical smart solutions are being progressively replaced by solutions capable of exploiting a huge range of data channels. Today, still, each city/area has its own criteria requiring a highly tailored solution, so only a flexible and dynamic platform can put a city in full control of its operational objectives. Cities are abandoning an approach based on data sources and becoming aware of actual data channels where information and actions flow in multiple directions. Multi-directional flows are key in implementing city operating systems involving daily tuning to deal with current challenges. Cities are becoming smarter also due to regulatory pushes from international bodies and organizations such as the European Commission.


In 2019, DISIT Lab turned out to be the winner of the Select4Cities PCP of EC and one year later won the ENEL-X open data challenge in 2020. Currently, Snap4City is one of the platforms of the EOSC (European Open Science Cloud), and DISIT (University of Florence) is proud to be a Gold Member of FIWARE and an official Powered by FIWARE Solution.

  • Energy (smart light, control room on energy production and recovering, charging stations); For example in REPLICATE for recharging stations, for CAPELON partner in Sweden for Smart Light;
  • Environment (monitoring, pollutant predictions, decarbonization, NOx prediction, NO2 KPI predictions, alerting, CO2 reduction, smart waste, ..). For example, in Florence, Pisa, Livorno for NOX/NO2 predictions, and general pollutant monitoring;
  • Industry 4.0, depuration plant, production plants (monitoring industry plant, control and optimization, digital twin), such as on ALTAIR chemical plant;
  • Governance control and KPI (people flow, tourism, POI, utilities, quality of life assessment and control, building automation, digital twin, sustainability, smart decision support). For example: in REPLICATE H2020 for Smart City Control Room of Florence, in Antwerp for monitoring people flows with PAXCounters, and in Dubrovnik, Valencia for monitoring people flow and tourism aspects with HeritData.
Figure 1 . Snap4City System Overview

How it works

As described above, the Snap4City solution is capable of working with multiple data channels of any kind, as well as multiple FIWARE solutions. Once data channels are established, city entities are modeled in a Knowledge Base (grounded on Km4City ontology and LD linked data) and become ready for semantic queries exploiting relationships as: spatial, temporal and relational. Multiple brokers, devices and edge devices can be connected and managed via the IoT Directory. Remote IoT Edge Devices can be maintained, also updating the logic of control and data processing based on Node-RED. Snap4City can manage open and private data for each domain and organization.

Figure 2 . Snap4City Dashboards and Apps

Benefits & Impact

The usage of Snap4City has brought about improvements and has been of great benefit to a wide range of situations where it has been implemented. The very low costs for the implementation of changes, to be done directly by city operators, has impressed many users. Snap4City can be freely installed on premise with its full solution components. Its impact has been demonstrated in a wide range of solutions, pilots, projects and trials, including:

  • Environment: predicting NOX and long term NO2, monitoring pollutants of any kind and alerting, informing city users;
  • Energy: recharging stations monitoring, smart light control;
  • Strategic planning: performing what-if analysis with respect to critical conditions, planning production, system thinking on smart decision support systems;
  • City management: predicting maintenance interventions, multichannel alerting, anomaly detection as early warning, etc.;
  • People flow: monitoring and alerting on critical cases.

Added Value through FIWARE

FIWARE was adopted by Snap4City in 2016 as reported in the roadmap, making it an official Powered by FIWARE Solution. Thanks to FIWARE’s openness, interoperability and spread, it has enabled a faster integration and exploitation of the IoT aspects in the Smart City model of Km4City. The first usage of FIWARE technology by Snap4City was in the fields of Smart Industry and Smart Cities. Its capability and compliance at European level allowed them to perform a huge number of integrations. NGSI has been adopted by Snap4City as the core part of the ingestion process using FIWARE’s IOT Orion Broker. Recently, Snap4City utilized FIWARE’s Context Broker for extending the Snap4City federation of Smart Cities, and have started working on the NGSI-LD integration which is adding to the Km4City, an additional semantic level with additional capabilities. In the above listed projects and solutions, FIWARE has been used by DISIT Lab as a core part of the Snap4City solution, and in particular in the cities of Florence, Antwerp, Pisa, Livorno, Modena, Santiago de Compostela, Valencia, Dubrovnik, Lonato del Garda (for Smart Parking), and in the projects mentioned before: REPLICATE H2020, RESOLUTE H2020, TRAFAIR CEF, Sii-Mobility, SODA of ALTAIR, 5G MIUR, MOBIMART, HERITDATA, and PC4City.

Authors & Contributors

Paolo Nesi
Scientific and Technical Coordinator at Snap4City
Contact @


In accordance with our guidelines on the use of quotes and impact stories in advertising, please note the following points: Impact stories appearing on the FIWARE Foundation website or other digital or printed materials and channels were submitted via text, audio or video. They are individual experiences that reflect real life and business experiences of those who have used our technology and/or services in different ways. The information contained in this impact story is not medical, diagnostic or therapeutic advice and does not constitute advice, treatment or application recommendations or guidance for the individual case. FIWARE Foundation does not assume any responsibility for up-to-datedness, correctness and completeness of the information provided. Liability claims against the author, which refer to material or non-material damages, which were caused by the use or non-use of the provided information or by the use of incorrect and incomplete information, are generally excluded, unless there is no evidence of intentional or negligence of the author. All offers are subject to change and non-binding. The author expressly reserves the right to change, supplement or delete parts of the pages or the entire offer without separate announcement or to discontinue the publication temporarily or permanently. Some FIWARE Impact Stories may be shortened.

FIWARE is the Open Source Platform for Our Smart Digital Future.