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Smart cities or smart citizens : which is the future?


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A brief talk on smart cities or smart citizens, which is the future?
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Smart cities or smart citizens : which is the future?

  1. 1. InterSection Workshop December 11, 2015 Disputatio Week of Barcelona Barcelona Knowledge Hub, Academia Europaea Naba Barkakati, Ph.D., Chief Technologist U.S. Government Accountability Office Smart Cities or Smart Citizens: Which is the Future? 1
  2. 2. BCN Smart City - perfect venue for this discussion... Barcelona is recognized as one of the top Smart Cities in the world 2
  3. 3. “Things” that connect to the Internet to “communicate” and, optionally, “act” Graphics from Pixabay/License: CC0 Public Domain / Internet of Things 3
  4. 4. 4 An example: “Smart Home” • Thermostat • Alarm system • Camera • Smart meter Access from smartphone app 4
  5. 5. Smart Cities - Internet-connected infrastructure and analytics © By Regiars (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons 5 ● Use IoT (sensors, data analytics) infrastructure to collect, aggregate, and use data to improve the quality of life of the citizens ● Monitor/manage: environment, energy, water, waste management, transportation 5
  6. 6. First generation Smart Cities - top- down, technology-driven 6 ● Masdar, Abu Dhabi ● Songdo, South Korea ● PlanIT Valley, Portugal 6
  7. 7. Critiques of solely technology-driven futuristic smart cities 2013 book by Anthony Townsend: Missing out on how cities interact with citizens June 2015 NESTA report: Failed to deliver on promises because of high up-front cost of technology and low return 7
  8. 8. Smart Cities make Smart Citizens - use connected technologies to inform 8
  9. 9. Paying attention to what citizens need... 76% want sensors in public places that let them know which areas are crowded; 70% want to compare their energy use with that of their neighbors’ so that they can optimize their behavior; and 74% want both interactive street signs and bike and car sharing. Ericsson Consumerlab Nov 2014 Survey: 9
  10. 10. Smart Cities AND Smart Citizens -- a virtuous cycle Informed citizens = “smart citizens” Smart city projects 10 Ideas
  11. 11. Smart Citizens as co-creators of Smart Cities Crowdsourcing data collection by citizens Open data in standard digital format Applications for citizens 11 Image by Argonne National Laboratory, CC BY- NC-SA 2.0
  12. 12. Dystopian views of Smart Cities… All-seeing, all-knowing smart city will destroy democracy Efficient, but not the life we want Video surveillance Threat to privacy Cyberattacks 12
  13. 13. Smart Citizens are our best hope and technology is not always the answer Technology-savvy smart, engaged citizens are key to success of smart cities ICT alone is not the answer -- e.g., use of cable cars and public facilities to integrate neighborhoods in Medellín, Colombia 13