The data-citizen driven city is a project done for the 4th Advanced Architecture Contest: Shaping our environment with real-time data (awarded with an honorable mention). A project done by: Sara Alvarellos,Cesar García, Jorge Medal, Sara Thomson.
Understanding reality with data, changing personal habits.
Using open source technologies, like Arduino-based sensor units or mobile apps, data-citizens will be able to gather their own real-time data regarding issues they are really concerned about, such as air quality, noise levels, street deficiencies, plagues, etc. All data will be shared in open public repositories, like Pachube, available for everyone. Long term data archival will allow citizens to gain a better understanding of the urban environment and to improve their daily personal habits.
Collective intelligence and critical mass. Social Cohesion.
Once there is a critical mass of participants, distributed citizen sensor networks will reveal new emerging patterns that will lead to a collective intelligence. Citizens will soon become aware of the political power of data and they will begin to get organized in local work groups to develop new strategies to improve their neighbourhoods. The massive adoption of sensors will bring their price down, allowing anyone to participate in the extension of this smart city data layer, regardless of their income.
Renovation of the Social Contract. Collective emerging actions.
Involvement and commitment will be part of a new social contract in which the rights and obligations of the citizens and the institutions will be redefined.
The maintenance and development of local resources will be delegated to neighbours that will feel engaged in the improvement of the urban ecosystem. Alarm warnings will not be accounted for in an isolated way; an holistic approach based upon data modelling will provide a global solution taking into account all the gathered data. Open data governance and accountability will be enforced through civil actions. The mission of local institutions will consist in supporting these local processes and developing long term plans.
Conclusion: A more sustainable and democratic city.
By the year 2020, citizens will participate in direct democratic processes at a local scale to transform the city into a more sustainable and efficient environment. Data will enable new uses of public spaces offering streamlined solutions. People will feel highly engaged towards their neighbours and surroundings in contrast to their previously detached postures. The success of radically open transparent processes will constitute a genuine milestone in the transformation of 21st century public institutions.