Smart cities need smart citizens
The idea of the SMARTiP project is to take the experience developed by a wide range of existing user-driven, open innovation initiatives in Europe, particularly those developed through Living Labs, and to apply this experience to the challenge of transforming public services by empowering â€˜smart citizensâ€™ who are able to use and co-produce innovative Internet-enabled services within emerging â€˜smartâ€™ cities. The aim is to enable to adoption of open platforms for the co-production of citizen-centric Internet-enabled services in five test-bed sites, Manchester, Gent, Cologne, Bologna and Oulu. The objective is to enhance the ability of the cities to grow and sustain a â€˜smart cityâ€™ ecosystem which can support new opportunities emerging for a dynamic co-production process resulting in more inclusive, higher quality and efficient public services which can then be made replicable and scalable for cross-border deployment on a larger scale.
This will focus on a series of pilot projects, as outlined â€˜Technical Pilotsâ€™, covering three thematic areas:Smart engagement; Smart environments; and Smart mobility.
The pilots aim to act as a catalyst to stimulate citizen engagement in becoming active generators of content and applications development, as well as being more informed and involved users of the developing Internet-enabled services in â€˜smartâ€™ cities. â€˜Smart citiesâ€™ require â€˜smart citizensâ€™ if they are to be truly inclusive, innovative and sustainable. The promise of the information society, to create new ways of empowering people to play a fuller and more equal role in emerging governance systems through their access to dynamic Internet-enabled services, is also proving to be its biggest challenge, as not everyone is getting equal access to the skills and opportunities that are supposed to be there.
Smart technology indeed plays an important part of any effort to create liveable, sustainable cities. Perhaps it can even help bridge the gap between the action needed and the not always so smart people on which sustainability depends..