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Making Citizens a part of the Smart City

1st June 2017

| #city#city leader#city mayor election#smart citizens#smart city#smart city report#smart lighting#smartcity leaders#sustainable cities#uk smart city

Students at the University of Sterling are undertaking a research project that looks at Smart Governance of Sustainable cities, which has highlighted that the common component in a smart city is the citizen. Their article on Urban Transformations, a website launched by the University of Oxford, states that "a key feature of the smart city is about incentivising and engaging the ordinary citizen to participate in the life of the city, through new technologies, in ways in which they may not have tried before, including taking part in decision-making or shared learning"

"For example, this could be through a city app on their Smartphone, sometimes called a ‘city dashboard’, allowing them to access city information about traffic or air quality, or even to make a leisure class booking. Most smart cities organise public ‘hackathon’ events, where teams of people compete against each other, and use open data and other information over the course of perhaps two days, to try to develop innovative ICT solutions such as new websites, or apps, which can be used to help in dealing with societal issues."

The article goes on to explore the changing behaviours of citizens in a successful smart city, indicating that: 

"Citizens may change their behaviour in relation to home energy usage, through the use of Smart meters, and increasingly, health services are using a ‘gamified’ approach to patients monitoring their own personal health, by having targets and rewards in the same way as activity ‘trackers’. Some Smart cities use ‘fablabs’ (fabrication laboratories) where experimentation with new technologies might take place, with the emphasis being on community-based shared learning. In other cases, citizen engagement may be involuntary, as in the case of ‘intelligent’ street lighting which is switched on only when a movement sensor detects someone walking close by. Citizens’ lives and relations with public agencies are increasingly occurring in the digital world, which, combined with the growing availability of publicly available open datasets, containing performance and demographic information, are creating new engagement opportunities for citizens.

Read the whole article here: http://www.urbantransformations.ox.ac.uk/blog/2017/citizens-and-smart-cities/

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