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Smart Cities, Made by Citizens


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A review of world initiatives on smart cities built up from below.
Ciudades inteligentes construídas con colaboración ciudadana.
Car Sharing
Appliances and Gadgets Sharing
Crowdfixing UK
City Management Apps Beijing
Crowdmaking Policy
Crowdbudgeting and Opening up Decision Making
Traffic Management
Rethinking cities with the citizens
How to run a people–centred smart city pilot
The four flaws with the smart city vision
Lessons for city governments

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Smart Cities, Made by Citizens

  1. 1. Crowdsourcing   Smart  Ci1es   ______________   Olga  Gil       Ciudades  Inteligentes   Construídas  con  ciudadanos   @OlgaG    
  2. 2. INDEX   ____________________________   Mapping   Water   Car  Sharing   Appliances  and  Gadgets  Sharing   Crowdfixing  UK   City  Management  Apps  Beijing   Crowdmaking  Policy   CrowdbudgeLng  and  Opening  up  Decision  Making   Planning   Traffic  Management   Rethinking  ciLes  with  the  ciLzens   How  to  run  a  people–centred  smart  city  pilot   The  four  flaws  with  the  smart  city  vision   Lessons  for  city  governments     Olga  Gil      
  3. 3.   Mapping…  i.e.  urban  flooding  and  air  polluLon   ____________________________   Olga  Gil      
  4. 4.   Mapping   ____________________________   •  People  are  using  digital   technology  to  measure  and   map  their  ciLes.     •  Individuals  and  community   groups  can  use  low–cost  kits   and  upload  the  data  to   create  crowdsourced  maps.     •  This  data  could  be  used  to   supplement  professional   networks  in  the  near  future.   Olga  Gil      
  5. 5.   Water   ____________________________    A  real–  Lme  map  of  flooding  in  the  city  created  by  crowdsourcing   flood  reports  from  TwiXer.   Olga  Gil      
  6. 6.   Car  Sharing   ____________________________   In  Seoul,  South  Korea,  the  city   government  is  helping  residents   make  beXer  use  of  the  things   they  own  with  the  Sharing  City   Seoul  iniLaLve.   hXps://   Olga  Gil      
  7. 7.   Appliances  and  Gadgets  Sharing   ____________________________   In  Seoul,  South  Korea,  the  city   government  is  helping  residents   make  beXer  use  of  the  things   they  own  with  the  Sharing  City   Seoul  iniLaLve.   hXp://   Olga  Gil      
  8. 8.   Crowdfixing  UK     ____________________________   Residents  can  use   the  app  to  report   issues  such  as   broken  streetlights   and  potholes  to  the   city  governments.   hXps://     Olga  Gil      
  9. 9.   City  Management  Apps  Beijing     ____________________________   In  2012  Beijing  launches  new  city  management  app:  Beijing  Bureau  of  City  Administra1on  and  Law   Enforcement  launched  an  iPhone  applica1on  that  allow  residents  of  the  city  to  par1cipate  through  a   mobile  plaJorm,  Song  Gang,  the  bureau’s  Director  of  Informa1on  Systems  and  Equipment  Services.     The  Bureau’s  law  enforcement  responsibili1es  cover  a  wide  spectrum:  environment  management,  river   management,  pollu1on  control,  sanita1on,  street  vendor  management,  outdoor  adver1sement,  car  park   management,  dispute  resolu1on  and  ‘low-­‐level  crimes’.  All  of  these  are  closely  related  to  the  daily  life   and  livelihood  of  the  20  million  residents  in  the  metropolis.     The  app,  called  “I  love  Beijing”  (我爱北京),  is  an  extension  of  the  GIS-­‐based  integrated  service  plaJorm   (hXp://  Both  channels  allow  residents  to  locate  nearby  city  administra1on  agencies  and   law  enforcers,  correct  errors  in  GIS  map,  make  complaints  and  reports,  as  well  as  provide  advices  and   sugges1ons.       The  Bureau  has  established  a  three  1er  structure  for  city  management  and  law  enforcement  covering  the   municipal,  district  and  neighbourhood  levels.  It  has  also  built  close  working  rela1onships  among  frontline   law  enforcement  agents,  neighbourhood  offices  and  resident  councils.  This  is  integrated  with  the  web   (and  now  mobile)  engagement  channel  as  well  as  a  hotline.  The  aim  is  “to  ensure  that  the  city  is   ul1mately  managed  by  the  residents  themselves.”     Allows  to  include  informa1on  on  informal  markets  with  opening  1mes,  new  markets  and  what  type  of   goods  they  sell.       Olga  Gil      
  10. 10.   Crowdmaking   Policy     ____________________________  BeXer  Reykjavik   enables  ciLzens  to   voice,  debate  and   prioriLze  ideas  to   improve  their  city,   creaLng  open   discourse  between   community   members  and  city   council  and  also   giving  the  voters  a   direct  influence  on   decision  making.   hXps://   Olga  Gil      
  11. 11.   CrowdbudgeLng   ____________________________   In  Paris,  ‘Madame   Mayor,  I  have  an  idea’   is  a  crowdsourcing  and   parLcipatory   budgeLng  process  that   lets  ciLzens  propose   and  vote  on  ideas  for   projects  in  Paris.  The   process  will  allocate   500m  Euros  between   2014  and  2020.   hXps://   Opening  up  decission  making   Olga  Gil      
  12. 12.   Planning   ____________________________     In  Bangalore,  local  NGO   the  MOD  InsLtute   enabled  residents   to  create  a  community   vision  for  the  future  of   the  Shanthingar   neighbourhood  of  the   city  by  encouraging   online  debate.       hXp://   Bringing  people  into  the  planning  process   Olga  Gil      
  13. 13.   Traffic  management   ____________________________     In  Jakarta,  residents  can   use  TwiXer  to  organise   shared  car  journeys  to   work.   Jakarta   hXps://   Olga  Gil      
  14. 14.   Traffic  management   ____________________________     In  Jakarta,  the   Nebengers  TwiXer   account  has  83,000   followers  and  re– Tweets  1,000   requests  for  ride   shares  each  day.  This   could  contribute  to   easing  traffic  woes  in   the  city  if  the   plagorm  conLnues   to  grow.   Jakarta   hXp://   Olga  Gil      
  15. 15.   Rethinking  ciLes  with  the  ciLzens   ____________________________   How  can  ciLes  effecLvely  harness  the  power  of  ciLzens  through   digital  technologies?     Four  emerging  methods  are  helping  city  governments  to  do  this,   powered  by:       •  the  growing  ubiquity  of  smartphones,     •  the  increasing  preference  for  online  transacLons,     •  the  emergence  of  low–cost  hardware  and  peer–to–peer   technologies.   Olga  Gil      
  16. 16.   Rethinking  ciLes  with  the  ciLzens   ____________________________   •  The  collaboraLve  economy:       ConnecLng  distributed  groups  of  people,   using  the  internet  and  digital  technologies,  to   make  beXer  use  of  goods,  skills  and  space.       This  is  important  in  ciLes  where  resources,   parLcularly  space,  are  limited.   Four  emerging  methods     Olga  Gil      
  17. 17.   Rethinking  ciLes  with  the  ciLzens   ____________________________   •  Crowdsourcing  data:       People  can  use  low–cost  sensors  to  measure  and   create  crowdsourced  maps  of  their  environments.     City  governments  can  crowdsource  data  from  social   media  sites  and  sensors  in  mobile  phones,  as  a   supplement  to  city–wide  Internet  of  Things   networks.   Four  emerging  methods     Olga  Gil      
  18. 18.   Rethinking  ciLes  with  the  ciLzens   ____________________________   •  CollecLve  intelligence:       Decision  making  and  problem  solving  are  usually  lel   to  experts,  yet  ciLzens  know  a  huge  amount  about   their  ciLes.       New  digital  tools  make  it  easier  for  people  to  get   involved  in  policymaking,  planning  and  budgeLng,   and  this  could  help  ciLes  make  smarter  and  more   democraLc  decisions.   Four  emerging  methods     Olga  Gil      
  19. 19.   Rethinking  ciLes  with  the  ciLzens   ____________________________   •  Crowdfunding:       People  can  connect  with  each  other  online  to   collaboraLvely  fund  community  projects  and  city   governments  can  use  crowdfunding  to  make   spending  decisions  that  more  accurately  reflect  the   needs  and  wishes  of  ciLzens.     Four  emerging  methods     Olga  Gil      
  20. 20.   Rethinking  ciLes  with  the  ciLzens   ____________________________   •  The  collaboraLve  economy     •  Crowdsourcing  data     •  CollecLve  intelligence     •  Crowdfunding   Four  emerging  methods     Olga  Gil      
  21. 21.   How  to  run  a  people–centred  smart  city  pilot   ____________________________   1.  Set  up  a  civic  innovaLon  lab  to   drive  innovaLon  in  collaboraLve   technologies   Primary  goal  should  be  genera1ng   evidence  about  which  models  can  most   effec1vely  harness  the  power  of   collabora1ve  technologies–  an  area  of   work  that  is  currently  underdeveloped.       Examples:   The  Seoul  Innova1on  Bureau   Boston  Mayor’s  Office  of  New  Urban   Mechanics  (MONUM),  two  examples  of   how  a  civic  innova1on  lab  could  work.         Na1onal  governments  should  also  consider   seang  up  a  civic  labs  network,  to  support   knowledge  sharing  between  individual   labs.   hXp://­‐informa1on/key-­‐policies/city-­‐ini1a1ves/4-­‐social-­‐innova1on/   hXp://   Olga  Gil      
  22. 22.   How  to  run  a  people–centred  smart  city  pilot   ____________________________   2.  Use  open  data  and  open  plagorms  to  mobilize  collecLve  knowledge   Support  open  source  collaboraLve  technologies,  such  as  those  developed  by   OpenPlans,  rather  than  developing  proprietary  tools  from  scratch.  This  will  contribute   to  the  crea1on  of  common  tools  that  all  ci1es  can  draw  on.       Open  up  problem  solving  to  ciLzens,  using  online  tools  that  let  people  debate  ideas   and  decide  which  of  them  get  implemented  rather  than  simply  asking  for  sugges1ons.   BeXer  Reykjavik  is  an  example  of  how  to  do  this.       Open  up  data  to  the  public  to  help  generate  innovaLve  soluLons  to  urban  challenges,   but  pay  equal  aXen1on  to  finding  produc1ve  uses  for  the  data.  For  example,  the  Open   Data  Challenges  bringing  businesses,  community  groups  and  city  governments  together   to  develop  new  ways  of  using  city  data.       Involve  smaller  companies  and  civil  society  organisaLons  in  smart  city  pilots,  as  they   are  oeen  behind  some  of  the  most  inspiring  digital  solu1ons.  The  UK’s  Small  Business   Research  Ini1a1ve  (SBRI)  helps  small  innova1ve  companies  access  public  R&D  projects   and  such  ini1a1ves  could  be  used  in  smart  city  pilots.       Olga  Gil      
  23. 23.   How  to  run  a  people–centred  smart  city  pilot   ____________________________   3.  Take  human  behaviour  as  seriously  as  technology     The  smart  city  vision  olen  fails  to  recognise  the  role  that  behaviour  and  culture  play   in  the  way  ciLes  work.       New  technologies  and  data  streams  will  only  be  beneficial  if  they  are  accompanied  by   changes  in  culture  –  a  greater  willingness  to  engage  with  data,  incorporate  new   technologies  into  tradiLonal  workflows  and  to  embrace  the  potenLal  of  ‘boXom–up’   soluLons.     Unsustainable  paXerns  of  living  –  such  as  the  heavy  use  of  resources  or  private   transport  –  undermine  data  and  technology–led  efforts  to  make  ciLes  more   sustainable.       Alongside  investments  in  hardware,  city  governments  should  promote  the   collaboraLve  economy,  where  people  can  access  the  things  they  need,  but  only   occasionally  use.  City  governments  should  look  to  the  example  of  Seoul,  which  has   supported  a  range  of  collaboraLve  economy  iniLaLves.   Olga  Gil      
  24. 24.   How  to  run  a  people–centred  smart  city  pilot   ____________________________   Peerby,  a  website   and  app  that   launched  in  2012   to  enable  people   to  request  and   share  items  with   their  neighbours.       The  company  has   over  100,000  users   a  month,  mainly  in   Amsterdam,   London,  Brussels   and  Berlin.     Olga  Gil      
  25. 25.   How  to  run  a  people–centred  smart  city  pilot   ____________________________   BlockPooling,  a   social  network  for   communi1es  in   Singapore,  set  up  in   2013  with  a  grant   from  the   Government,  to   enable  neighbours   to  share  belongings   and  offer  or  ask  for   services.       The  service  has  the   twin  goals  of   strengthening   communi1es  in   Singapore  and   making  more   efficient  use  of   resources.   Olga  Gil      
  26. 26.   How  to  run  a  people–centred  smart  city  pilot   ____________________________   4.  Invest  in  smart  people,  not  just  smart  technology     Without  the  ability  to  interpret  data  and  understand  how  and  why  it  is   collected,  there  is  a  serious  risk  that  it  will  be  misinterpreted  or  ignored  by   city  government  employees.     City  governments  should  invest  in  training  to  give  all  staff  a  baseline   understanding  of  data  handling  as  well  as  hiring  data  specialists  with   advanced  skills.     A  smart  ciLes  pilot  should  also  invest  in  digital  skills  for  ciLzens.  Successful   programmes  include:  CoderDojo,  a  global  movement  of  community–based   programming  clubs  for  young  people,  and  ‘hackathons’  organised  by  the   Singapore  Government,  which  teach  people  how  to  use  open  data.   Olga  Gil      
  27. 27.   How  to  run  a  people–centred  smart  city  pilot   ____________________________   5.  Spread  the  potenLal  of  collaboraLve  technologies  to  all  parts  of   society     Collabora1ve  technologies  require  connected  ci1zens.  However  not   everyone  uses  a  smartphone,  has  internet  access  or  the  1me  to  engage   with  their  city  governments.       Communi1es  that  are  underserved  by  these  technologies  are  usually  the   elderly,  the  young,  the  sick  and  the  poor.       When  suppor1ng  and  pilo1ng  collabora1ve  technologies,  ci1es  should   explore  ways  to  expand  their  poten1al  to  these  communi1es.  Working   with  intermediaries  including  community  groups,  chari1es  and  NGOs   could  be  one  way  to  do  this.   Olga  Gil      
  28. 28.   The  four  flaws  with  the  smart  city  vision   ___________________________   StarLng  with  technology  rather  than  urban  challenges   Work  on  smart  ci1es  oeen  begins  with  the  ques1on:  what  uses  can  be  found  for  cuang  edge  technologies?  This  is   because  the  primary  goal  of  smart  city  pilots  is  oeen  economic  development:  suppor1ng  companies  to  create  and   commercialise  technologies  that  can  be  sold  to  ci1es  around  the  world.     Insufficient  use  or  generaLon  of  evidence   Despite  the  huge  sums  invested  in  smart  ci1es  worldwide,  there  is  liXle  published  evidence  showing  that  the  solu1ons   they  offer  help  ci1es  address  real–world  challenges.  Installing  sensors  on  infrastructure  throughout  the  city  or  using   data  to  predict  traffic  paXerns  might  make  ci1es  more  efficient  and  sustainable.  Alterna1vely,  it  might  cost  more  than  it   saves,  especially  when  maintenance  is  factored  in.  Ci1es  currently  have  no  clear  guidance  regarding  what  technologies   to  invest  in,  and  this  will  remain  the  case  un1l  smart  city  pilots  start  sharing  their  findings.     Lack  of  awareness  of  how  others  are  trying  to  improve  ciLes   The  smart  ci1es  field  is  oeen  too  insular,  with  technologists  talking  to  each  other,  but  not  linking  to  the  work  that   others  groups  are  doing  to  address  urban  challenges,  such  as  those  working  within  city  government  in  areas  from   transport  and  planning  to  economic  development  and  public  par1cipa1on.     LiXle  role  for  ciLzen  engagement   Many  smart  city  strategies  offer  ci1zens  liXle  chance  to  engage  in  the  design  and  deployment  of  new  technologies.   While  ci1zens  tend  to  be  the  implied  beneficiaries  of  smart  city  projects,  they  are  rarely  consulted  about  what  they   want  and  their  ability  to  contribute  to  making  the  city  work  beXer  is  oeen  ignored.   Olga  Gil      
  29. 29.   Lessons  for  city  governments     ___________________________   Implement  websites  and  apps  that  allow  ci1zens  to  send  feedback  and  report   issues  to  the  city  government.  Keep  in  mind  that  ci1zens  will  quickly  become   disengaged  if  they  feel  their  input  is  being  ignored.  To  make  sure  this  doesn’t   happen,  ci1es  should  develop  feedback  func1ons  in  their  repor1ng  apps.       Explore  ways  to  crowdsource  data  from  social  media  as  a  supplement  to  city–wide   sensing  networks.  Successful  examples  include  PetaJakarta’s  crowdsourced  flood   map.       People  that  engage  are  usually  the  most  affluent,  educated  and  connected   segment  of  a  city’s  popula1on.     More  experimenta1on  and  evidence  is  needed  to  iden1fy  the  best  ways  to   increase  par1cipa1on  from  a  broader  group  of  ci1zens  that  are  more   representa1ve  of  the  whole  community.     The  use  of  these  technologies  alone  is  not  enough.  The  difficult  work  is  not   crea1ng  the  technology  but  incorpora1ng  it  into  their  exis1ng  workflow.     Olga  Gil      
  30. 30. Crowdsourcing   Smart  Ci1es   ______________   Olga  Gil     Ciudades  Inteligentes   Construídas  con  ciudadanos   ______________   @OlgaG     Thank  you