smart citizens

We use the term 'smart citizens' as opposed to the term 'smart city'. A smart city is an urban development vision to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of things (IoT) technology in a secure fashion to manage a city's assets. We believe the city should not get smarter, but it's citizens.


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


UCL, partner in the EU project 'Doing it together science', published an extensive work on citizen science.


How to measure nuclear radiation? Waag hosted a workshop on how to measure radiation with low-cost sensors.


GammaSense develops a citizens measurement network to measure gamma radiation.


Tomo Kihara graduated on the use of 'smart' security cameras in the city. He developed a game that makes us aware of all that supervision.


In Buitenveldert (Amsterdam) neighbours went out on the street and walked around their neighbourhood with the assistance of an app.


From 20 to 24 June 2018, Amsterdam was dedicated to the WeMakeThe.City festival. Waag was co-organizer of the festival!


In this short series we give people of Amsterdam the opportunity to have a short or long time experience with measuring particulate matter (PM) at home.


Last week, Paris was announced as winner of the iCapital Award 2018 and elected as the new capital of innovation in Europe. The city follows in the footsteps of Amsterdam, that was iCapital of Europe during the past two years. Amsterdam received this award by what is called the 'Amsterdam approach', in which bottom-up innovation by city makers and startups is connected to the strategic innovation policy of the city.


Many important philosophers from the past have posed questions on what makes a good and just city. Now it seems that these questions are being answered from Silicon Valley—not through democratic debate, but by implementing gadgets where implicit ethical considerations have already been made.


At Waag we don’t encounter with architects that often. So the chance to visit REsite festival in Prague that discusses the future of the city with architects on stage, in the crowd and even future architects in the organization was a great opportunity.


On 6 April 2017, the City Health Monitor was presented during the event Jij Maakt de Stad! at The Student Hotel in Amsterdam. This monitor shows the current health state of our capital on five themes: food, green, energy, resources and clean air. The conclusion from this report is: Amsterdam is on the right track, but a lot remains to be done.


In the last few years, several interesting smart citizen projects have seen the light. Waag has been following these developments closely and has been partnering with Fab Lab Barcelona, for instance, in the implementation of the Smart Citizen Kit. This Arduino-based connector platform has made it easier to connect new sensors to the Internet in order to create more transparency for citizens about the quality of their environment.


What if you can combine the experience from the maker movement to create open source hardware and software to map environmental issues that concern citizens everyday? This blog will show you the process of developing a sensor that was designed to answer questions about air quality from an interested community of citizens.


When traveling to Brussels for a European project, the first things that come to my mind are: the city of Brussels has more political layers than citizens; and the European Commission is a bureaucratic top-down institution, which only costs money and decides what we can and can’t do. Some thoughts about the political centre of Europe that a lot of people have. To go to Brussels for a co-creation workshop for the Making Sense project was the ultimate opportunity to get rid of these stubborn preconceptions.


The Dutch newspaper 'Het Parool' brings the news that the first smart 'Amsterdeck' will be placed in Amsterdam soon. The Amsterdecks project aims to offer insights in the water quality and the accessibility of the public waters of Amsterdam for its citizens and visitors.


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.


The air quality report is based on measurements environmental organisation Milieudefensie took last year. They researched nearly 60 spots for a year and concluded that the nitrogen dioxide limit was exceeded in eleven places. The air quality is particularly bad on busy urban roads with lots of traffic.


Na een jaar vol meet-ups, sensoren bouwen en ‘omgevingen meten’, delen we nu onze ervaringen in een publicatie over de impact van de zelfmetende burger. In het Amsterdam Smart Citizens Lab onderzochten we samen met stadsbewoners, wetenschappers en ontwerpers hoe je de wereld om je heen in kaart kunt brengen.


In the past five years, the broad availability of open hardware tools, the creation of online data sharing platforms, and access to maker spaces have fostered the design of low cost and open source sensors that independent communities of citizens can appropriate to engage in environmental action.


The official Dutch institute that is measuring air quality, RIVM, has made a handy brochure for those interested in measuring air quality themselves, titled 'Meten voor een gezonde stad' (pdf). It explains the role of citizen science and clearly explains what substances have an influence on air quality. It does so in Dutch.


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.


The Amsterdam University Press has published the book EU@Amsterdam, which contains an article by Frank Kresin (Research director Waag) titled (translation) "Smart cities foster their smart citizens". Most of the articles in the book are in Dutch.


In the Amsterdam Smart Citizens Lab, we explore tools and applications to map the world around us.


On 13 May 2015, the first Amsterdam Smart Citizens Lab was held. More than 50 citizens, scientists and technicians gathered to gain more insight in their city. By measuring the city themselves in the next months, to investigate and get into action based on the results.


By taking away initiative, enforcing top-down control, and focusing on maximizing efficiency instead of possibility, the smart city is a disaster waiting to happen. Our hope lies in its constituents: the citizens. Citizens can become smart, engaged, and illuminated through mastering the technologies that help them express themselves, connect to others, share their resources and thoughts, and that helps them to reflect so they can decide the best course of action. In short, the technologies that help them to solve their own problems in a better and more thorough way.


The November/December issue 2014 of the journal MIT Technology Review was completely about the Smart City, with a business report titled 'Cities Get Smarter'. Besides case studies of several Smart City projects from different parts of the world (like Santander and Lagos) there is an extensive coverage of Amsterdam, where the focus is shifting from the smart city to smart citizens.


A new year has started, a fitting moment for predictions. Which themes will change the image of 2015?


A concluding publication has been published by the partners in the European cultural cooperation project Eclectis. Every partner in the project has contributed to this publication.


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.


As part of the Smart Citizen kit project, the artists of Cascoland showed during "Fresh air!" in a public event on June 16th at the Nieuwmarkt what Coughing Shrubs are, how stressed a plant can be, and served a herby soup.


On 16 June 2014 we evaluated the results of our experiment with the Smart Citizen Kit in Amsterdam together with the participants.


With the Smart Citizen Kit (SCK), citizens of Amsterdam have measured their environment in real time during a test period from March till June 2014, organized by Waag, Amsterdam Smart City and the Amsterdam Economic Board.


In Amsterdam, the Smart Citizen project started in April 2014. Citizens in Amsterdam are measuring air quality in their own environment.


More than seventy people gathered at the Waag to measure the air quality in the city with the Smart Citizen Kit.


A thousand volunteers in Antwerp (Belgium) will have a strawberry plant at their homes the next two months. The University of Antwerp want to measure small particles in the air through the leaves of the plants.


On February 25, 2014 the first Smart Citizen Kit Install Party took place: a 'man only' event with tech-savvy people.


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


Eclectis Amsterdam was a workshop program for young people (high school students, age 13 and 14, from the Hyperion Lyceum) held in September 2013. We published an illustrated research report about the findings of this week.


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.


FutureEverything Publications has published a new booklet titled 'Smart Citizens'. This publication aims to shift the debate on the future of cities towards the central place of citizens, and of decentralised, open urban infrastructures. It provides a global perspective on how cities can create the policies, structures and tools to engender a more innovative and participatory society.


From 16 till 20 September, our part in the European project ECLECTIS took place in Amsterdam North. During this week, zeven international artists worked with 150 pupils of the Hyperion Lyceum to research the their environment and experiment with technology.


Many many questions for the participating artists in our project (Smart Citizens - Art in progress) in Amsterdam. In this week 150 youngsters are researching their environment with DIY toolkits, smartphones and sensors.


We, citizens of all cities, take the fate of the places we live in into our own hands. We care about the buildings and the parks, the shops, the schools, the roads and the trees. But above all, we care about the quality of the life we live in our cities.


What are the real levels of air pollution around your home or business? And what about noise pollution? and humidity? Now imagine that you could know them, share instantly and compare with other places in your city, in real time ... How could this information help to improve our environment quality?


Quantified Self (QS) stands, in short, for measuring yourself. Using tools to translate your behaviour in data. On Monday March 4th Waag hosted the Amsterdam meetup.


How do you involve older people in the design of a Smart House? This is one of the questions Phillemonne Jaasma tried to answer during her internship at Waag.