open cities

e-Government initiative to provide a collection of basic services and a middleware to interconnect the citizen with his/her local administration.

 

In this blog series Hidde Kamst examines different ways of using technology in cities, and the corresponding roles these imply for citizens.

 

On Thursday the 21st of June, the exciting conference Next Generation Cities took place. During the conference the positive and negative effects of technology were debated.

 

Through platforms such as vTaiwan and Pol.is, the democracy of Taiwan is starting to make moves towards becoming one of the first liquid democracies in the world. This development did not happen out of nowhere.

 

Frank Kresin looks ahead to 2017, that brings new challenges and opportunities and a new job for him at the University of Twente, managing the newly founded DesignLab.

 

Over the course of five days, twenty eager participants from Rio became Smart Citizens. Pieter van Boheemen and Taco van Dijk from Waag teached them how to appropriate low-cost, open source technologies to make sense of their environment, helping them to care, share and act.

 

Recently, a new publication was published titled 'The Hackable City: A Research Manifesto and Design Toolkit'. Interesting for anyone who wants to know more about the open process of citymaking.

 

Smart Cities vs. Smart Citizens - musings on the Smart City World Expo Congress, by Frank Kresin.

 

Cities are the dominant and most successful organisations of human endeavour. This intense form of cohabitation has developed over thousands of years, attracting an increasingly larger part of the human population. While they have vibrantly developed in terms of size, density and quality of life, technology has sped up, leading to problems and possibilities that we still have to fully apprehend.

 

Amsterdam wants to present itself as a leader in the field of open data, but to use open data optimally they should really be open: searchable, real time and editable.

 

From the European Open Cities project a new challenge has started to build apps that help cities manage their challenges related to tourism, titled Open Data Tourism Hack at home. It brings together two important themes of the smart city - open data and sensor networks - and uses them to help European cities find new ways to manage the big challenges and benefits of tourism today.

 

Our C4EU fellows arrived last week on January 14. For the project Code4EU, they will work on three challenges that the city of Amsterdam has mapped for them.

 

The City of Amsterdam welcomes Ohyoon Kwon, Piotr Steininger and Giovanni Maggini as fellows for the Code4EU project. The coming nine months they will be working on innovative and smart apps that change the way governments work for their citizens.

 

The City of Amsterdam has won the first prize at the World Smart City Awards 2012 in Barcelona, with the open data program of DIVV.

 

BlindSquare, an augmented reality app that uses audio technology and crowd-sourced open data to help visually-impaired people move around and get the most out of their cities, won the first prize of the Open Cities App Challenge.

 

Waag stood to the cradle of Apps for Amsterdam, Apps for Noord-Holland and Apps for the Netherlands, and soon the contest Apps voor Europe will start.

 

The project Smart City SDK brings European datasets and the development community together. This became clear at the OK Festival in Helsinki, where projectleader Job Spiering represented Waag. And where he met up with partner cities Manchester, Barcelona and Helsinki.

 

On 22 August 2012, I gave a presentation about Open Cities (and Apps voor Amsterdam) at the Campus Party in Berlin. Campus Party exists since 1997 and has grown into a large festival where thousands of hackers, developers, startups and geeks. The travelling event this year took the former airport Berlin-Tempelhof as it's residence for the many tents of the Campuseros and ten stages. It offered keynotes by Paul Coello, Tim Berners-Lee, Don Tapscott en Yossi Vardi.

 

The Open Cities App Challenge brings together two important themes of the smart city: open data and sensor networks. As part of the Open Cities project the Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS and the University Pompeu Fabra have created a data platform for developers to create services based on the data, which the cities provide.

 

At the beginning of 2011, Waag organized the first 'Apps contest' in The Netherlands, called 'Apps for Amsterdam'. We published a report on the contest titled 'Apps for Amsterdam, a city opening up' (pdf), giving the results, stats and lessons learned.