Smart City initiatives are usually associated with major cities, like Barcelona, Amsterdam or London, or with burgeoning Asiatic metropolises eager to relieve the problems caused by rapid urbanization. However, there is no reason why smaller cities cannot be smart too. But being a smaller city comes with a distinct set of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to applying smart city initiatives and solutions.
In this report, Francesca Bria and Evgeny Morozov discuss how cities can regain control over technology, data, and infrastructure, as well as over the services that are mediated by smart technologies—such as utilities, transportation, education, and health. Through a wide range of case studies from across the globe, the authors discuss alternative smart city models, which rely on democratic data ownership regimes, grassroots innovation, and cooperative service provision models.
In his new article, Dr Igor Calzada discusses the role of citizens and their relationship with data in the smart city paradigm. Through a closer look on the case of Barcelona, he argues that there is a growing consideration of citizens as decision-makers rather than data providers. The article is entitled “(Smart) Citizens from Data Providers to Decision-Makers? The Case Study of Barcelona” and it is open access.
The Colorado Open Lab, an Internet of Things engineering lab for customer development showcase and innovation collaboration to fast track development of IoT appliances and AI-enhanced applications, will open before mid-2019.
India is proceeding with its famous Smart Cities Mission, the $7.5 billion initiative to create 100 citizen-friendly and sustainable smart cities across the country by 2020. This ambitious initiative is encountering several difficulties, however, and one case, Lavasa, hailed as India’s first Smart City, offers a cautionary tale.
This report “Reclaiming the Smart City: Personal Data, Trust and the New Commons” was recently published by Nesta, as part of DECODE (DEcentralised Citizen Owned Data Ecosystems), a major EU Horizon 2020 project. Addressing some of the major flaws in how traditional smart city projects have approached data collection and use, it focuses on how and why city governments are taking a more responsible approach to the use of personal data.
The historic city of Trikala, set among the green fields of Greece’s agricultural heartland, with a population of 82,000 people, does not look like a prime candidate for a smart city but it has managed to become the country’s first, piloting many successful smart city projects and providing optimism for the potential of other Greek cities.