Habitat III - Side Events
  • Monday 17
  • Citizens @ the center of Smart Cities

    Side Events
    Venue: Room 3
    Organization: Anteverti ESADE DEMOS Helsinki LISST-Cieu
    Partner organizations:
    City Of Yakutsk

    During the last decade smart city has become an umbrella concept bringing together strategies for reinventing cities utilizing ICT. Until now, smart cities have revolved solely around technology. However, this approach has begun to show its limitations. Problems faced by Songdo or Masdar clearly exemplify them. In contrast with this we can witness how projects that put citizens at the center have prospered. The city of Medellín for example, once one of the most dangerous cities of the world, is now one of the celebrated examples of on-going citizen-centric urban transformation. Today we find a wide range of examples where citizens are situated at the center of planning or development process. Now open data enables apps to be developed by an ecosystem of developers instead of being commissioned; co-design methods allow urban services to be developed directly with citizens; and participatory budgeting gives inhabitants entirely new possibilities to influence how their environment develops. These and many other practices hold a great promise: cities can become not only smart but also humancentric at the same time. Despite the diversity of projects that follow this approach, we know little of how to provide structure, governance and incentives to encourage and scale up these bottom-up, citizen-centric projects. And once started, many of them fail because of the lack of feasible business models to support them. This session will discuss these aspects with knowledgeable experts and bring real life examples of how some of the most successful projects around the world – from Nordic countries like Finland to Latin American cities such as Medellin or Puebla, and also European cities like Bologna or Barcelona – managed to succeed. A brief introduction of participants followed by a series of panels will provide the grounds to advance in our knowledge on how to make smart cities also citizen-centric.