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3 Principles To Create A More “People Centered” Smart City

Chicago Downtown aerial view

When it comes to dealing with the government, it’s rare that you find someone excited about the concept. City departments are notorious for mountains of paperwork, confusing rules and inefficiency.  But according to a presentation titled “Reimagining the User Experience of Government” led by Brenna Berman and Mike Duffy, much of that is beginning to change.

Berman and Duffy are experts on the topic. Berman serves as Executive Director of City Digital, at UI Labs and was most recently the Chief Information Officer for the City of Chicago after spending more than a decade with IBM. Duffy is the Founder and CEO at CityBase, which is a company that “creates technology that makes government more personal and responsive.”

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All Ireland Smart Cities Forum

All Ireland Smart Cities Forum | Seán Kyne TD

My address to the first All Ireland Smart Cities forum which took place in Croke Park Conference Centre on Wednesday, 13th September.

“Good morning, I’m delighted to be here today. It gives me great pleasure to open, along with Dr. McCormick, the first All Ireland Smart Cities Forum.

As Minister with responsibility for Digital Development, I welcome the opportunity to be part of the sharing of information that is taking place here today.

The increasing use of digital technologies is impacting on every aspect of our lives: from transport, to education, to leisure and entertainment, to health services and beyond. And this trend is going to continue and will likely intensify. The increasing use of digital technologies is impacting on everyone – on individuals, on families, on businesses, on community and sports organisation, on Government itself.

Government is committed to transparent, collaborative engagement both with citizens and businesses, and use of digitisation and technology to continuously improve public services. The new eGovernment Strategy published this year sets out a vision to improve the delivery of whole-of-Government projects, expand shared services to increase efficiencies, and share data.

We need to continue to enhance the competitiveness of our cities, and build on existing smart projects. We also need to go beyond our cities and recognise the benefits that the smart agenda can bring to our regions because this is not and cannot solely be about cities such as Dublin and Belfast…

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UNDG | Delivering Together For Development

UNDG | Delivering Together For Development

We at the UN in Costa Rica are designing our next UN common plan for 2018-2022 to support the Government in its efforts to achieve the Global Goals by 2030. To do that, we are following the crowdsourcing spirit of the new development agenda. We are trying to adapt our decision making so that our new UN Development Assistance Framework is developed with the full wisdom of the crowd.

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Alphabet, Google, and Sidewalk Labs Start Their City-Building Venture in Toronto | WIRED

Alphabet, Google, and Sidewalk Labs Start Their City-Building Venture in Toronto | WIRED

Google has built an online empire by measuring everything. Clicks. GPS coordinates. Visits. Traffic. The company’s resource is bits of info on you, which it mines, packages, repackages, repackages again, and then uses to sell you stuff. Now it’s taking that data-driven world-building power to the real world. Google is building a city.

Tuesday afternoon, public officials gathered in Toronto to announce that Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary under the Alphabet umbrella that also houses Google, will pilot the redevelopment of 12 acres of southeastern waterfront. Today the area hosts a few industrial buildings and some parking lots. In just a few years, it will be a techified community going by the name of Quayside. Sidewalk Labs has already devoted $50 million to the project, and Google will move its Toronto headquarters to the neighborhood. Once the company has proven out its concept, it plans to expand its redevelopment to the entire 800-acre waterfront area.

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Smart City EU | European Network of Living Labs

Smart City EU

Growing urbanisation, sustainable development, digital challenge, users’ involvement, economic and cultural attractiveness, governance are part of the main stakes cities have to tackle. To face this plural urban reality, it has become necessary to find adapted means to conceive cities and territorial development. A better consideration of the uses, the creation of real consultation methods have priority.

Thus, the new processes to imagine have to respond to a main stake: to restructure urban places to live and to invent a creative, sustainable and citizen–centred city.

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Designing the Smart City | HuffPost

smart city concept illustration

Historically, the development of cities was spearheaded by kings but in contemporary times, cities are actively shaped by five types of socio-political actors: Agenda-setters (city councils/governments), Experts (urban planners), Sponsors (investors), Developers (contractors) and … Citizens (residents, public-interest groups, industry influencers, academia leaders, visitors)! However, much of the research and planning around smart cities is driven by technology rather than by the needs of the citizens. The citizen experience is often overlooked! To redesign this experience citizens need to have a seat at the table.

Smart cities can empower their citizens to design and shape their future. Toronto, for example, has been leveraging its “creative class” of financiers, healthcare researchers, artists, corporate strategists, lawyers, and social work pioneers to shape the future of the city the way citizens want.

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