Lessons in modesty for Smart Cities

Mieke van Heesewijk

On 18 November 2014, I gave a presentation about the Amsterdam Smart Citizen project at the 'Intelligent Living Space- Big Data en Smart City Seminar' in Taipei, Taiwan. Waag was invited by the Industrial Technology Research Institution of Taiwan together with the 'The Intelligent Living Space Project' team of the Architecture and Building Research Institute (ABRI) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Taiwan.

I presented the Smart Citizen Kit project that Waag conducted this year. With the Smart Citizen Kit we researched whether it is yet possible to measure environmental circumstances like like air quality, humidity and noise locally with affordable electronics and sensors and share the results in realtime with others.

During my presentation I emphasized that the so-called Smart Cities are being built for Smart Citizens who form an important factor in the way Smart Cities are shaped. In short, Smart Cities are not only designed by companies and governments, but mostly by the people that live in the city.

Especially the words Smart Citizen, as well as our design philosophy of 'Users as designers', were acknowledged by the crowd at the seminar. Developing and applying bottom-up technology was encountered as a very renewing point of view.

This is an abbreviated version of my blog. To read the whole text, please turn to the Dutch version.

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