How smart can we be?

2016-10-19, 07:57 Kirjoittanut Minna Lumiluoto

Smart Citizen in a Smart City

Smart city is defined as a concept that works to improve city life in sustainable social, economic and urban development. Smart city is based on new information and communication technologies to make efficient use of services and resources.

Urban strategist, Ph.D. Boyd Cohen presented three generations of smart cities in Mindtrek 2016. 1.0 is state of technology driven smart city, Smart city 2.0 is technology enabled, but led by city government. The third state is the state we are facing now, the citizen co-creation smart city. This means that citizens and companies in cities are engaged in making innovative suggestions to develop their city environment and services. Smart city 3.0 has a new open government policy to enable co-creation and both giving access to open data.

A smart citizen is an active resident who is involved in the decision making, in the new sharing economy and even in innovating new ideas. Only smart citizens can enable the existence of smart cities.

Implementations of Smart Cities

Co-creation and engaging smart citizens into decision making requires technical platforms that users can easily adopt.

Code Fellow Riku Oja from the city of Helsinki presented citizen co-creation methods and platforms that are used in Helsinki. There are map-based solutions where citizen can e.g. suggest a new location for a city bike stop, or the best location for a new park bench. The suggestions can be shown as a heat map to help decision making.  

Similar of solutions have been implemented also in the city of Tampere. Marko Kauppi representing demonstrated an upcoming platform that will be used to collect feedback on the new tram route in the city. The solution in Tampere is based on an open source map platform called Oskari.

A smart city needs lot of technology to implement the sharing of open data. An open source platform is often the best solution to gain access to the latest technology and minimize dependencies on third party providers, while keeping a realistic budget.

Is the Smart Digital Environment Safe for People

As a user experience enthusiast, I am looking for solutions to stand for the user in the smart world. Smart digital solutions are helpful for users and make every day easier. For example these solutions recognize their users' voice and there will be no need for any confusing user interface solutions.  

Technology columnist Petteri J√§rvinen said in his keynote speech at Mindtrek 2016 that smart always also means vulnerability. This is very true from the user point of view. The smart digital world needs to gather a lot of information to make the user experience smooth and anticipatory. Can the user be the smartest in this digital environment, or is the digital solution always smarter than its user?



Opening minds in Tampere 

Mindtrek is an international technology conference held in Tampere. This year the conference focused on Smart cities, IoT, Immersion and the open source world.

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