The task that citizens will play in future smart cities is yet to be properly defined
To be truly innovative, one of the major challenges cities are already facing is being able to design urban solutions that take into account – and in real-time – the requirements of their inhabitants and visitors. When we talk about smart cities, concepts such as innovation, technology and IoT quickly come to mind.
Yet we rarely look into what citizens bring to the table and that needs to change: inclusion strategies must be created to avoid causing or even widening gaps between citizens and their specific needs.
The importance of creating smart citizens
Technology has completely transformed the way we work, move around, socialise and interact with one another. Social networks, connectivity and mobile phones have revolutionised our behaviour. In the field of smart cities, the actual role that technology and real-time data will play has yet to be defined. What is certain, however, is that it will form a key role in our lives.
Technology will be present and smart city planning must be made bespoke, with attention to every detail and considering the needs of individual cities. The success of smart cities relies on the way technology solutions engage with citizens. That is why citizens must take a leading role in the design, creation and evolution of such solutions.
It should not be forgotten that the ultimate goal of a smart city is to provide a better quality of life and ensure better prosperity for businesses and citizens.
It is true that technology and data are key elements in the creation of smart cities, but without the smartness of people, proper engagement will not be achieved and smart city projects are doomed to fail.
But it is not just about giving humans the information or data to create a smart municipality. It is about empowering citizens to contribute with their own initiatives in the creation of smart cities or smart communities.
In short, it means that they support the establishment of smarter cities either as an individual expert or in a more corporate sense by launching or engaging with non-profit organisations, associations, digital innovation hubs and project consortiums in an attempt to add their voice toward addressing urban challenges.
Cities focused on citizens
Developed by Emergya Group and Secmotic (a FIWARE Foundation Gold Member), FIWOO proposes a new paradigm of urban strategy, considering the city as a complex and dynamic system whose most important objective is the well-being of all its citizens.
Based on FIWARE and its main open standards, FIWOO allows the application of data-based policies, analysing and automating responses in real-time, while gathering information from all over the city to create active communication channels with citizens to solve their mobility, health or safety needs.
FIWOO solution has key performance indicators (KPIs) that systematically monitor such objectives, involving all levels of municipal and organisational management. This enables the government to make data-driven decisions and be more open and transparent, in turn becoming more efficient in managing the services provided to citizens.
For example, citizen challenges, based on critical KPIs for the city, could be created. In real-time, citizens would see a change in their behaviour. Biking to work instead of driving would mean less traffic, less need for car parking spaces and reduced air pollution.
Similarly, citizens could kick-start their own initiatives to improve their neighbourhood through citizen participation. Such actions can bring about immediate consequences, improving environmental or social indicators that could be observed in convenient dashboards.
This is how FIWOO focuses on citizens:
Watching and listening: Inform in real-time and involve citizens in the decision-making process.
Thinking: Analyse, compare and decide on human and environmental needs.
Acting and growing: Make decisions and prioritise the digital and energy solutions to be implemented at any given moment and in the most sustainable way.
A human-centred intelligence strategy for smart cities suggests a promising collective schema, focusing on the collective perceiving, processing, learning and thinking and based on citizens’ participation and cooperation.
The proposed idea and its implementation routes could change the current circumstance of data intelligence to meet the human demands on urban functions.
Want to know more about how FIWOO can help you? Visit fiwoo.eu
by Jose Benitez, CEO, Secmotic; Carlos Corrales, COO, Secmotic; Luis Romero, Managing Partner, Emergya Grupo; and M. Giménez-Medina, Product Manager, FIWOO
Header image courtesy of FIWOO