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.

 

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.

 

Waag's Smart Citizens Lab organizes three special workshops at the end of this year, for those who like to DIY or measure their own environment.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

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. 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.

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

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?