jueves, 9 de mayo de 2013

Forum PA - Human Smart Cities: from Vision to Practice (28-30 May, Rome)

During the last days of May I will be in Rome attending the Forum PA, an initiative engaged with italian local authorities to foster innovation in local policies. The 2013 annual congress will be held from the 28th to the 30th and I am pleased to take part as a speaker in a session co-hosted by the Periphèria project, which is celebrating its final conference.

This conference, titled Human Smart Cities: from Vision to Practice, will take place on the 29th will address some of the topics I am more interested in relating to smart cities, and it constitutes a good chance to share some thoughts on the role of co-creation and civic engagement as enablers of urban living smart cities. As the programme explicitly states:

The Smart City is by now a model for the application of Future Internet services and infrastructure towards radical improvements of urban services in terms of efficiency and sustainability. In recent experiences in this area, however, a new vision is emerging that enriches the original concept with the human perspective, as gained through the application of citizen-centric and participatory approaches to the co-design and development of Smart City services. Indeed, it is becoming clear that “smartness” alone - sensors, meters, infrastructures - risks placing the citizen outside of the process, as a user who never takes the kind of ownership of the services that can only be ensured by engagement in their co-design from the very start. 

This session explores this emergent model for Human Smart Cities and the “softer” features of “smartness” such as clarity of vision, citizen empowerment, participation, etc. which can complement the technological drive of the underlying infrastructures. 

The afternoon session in which I will be partaking in will address the ingredients of a human-centered understanding of the impact of technology in cities such as participatory design, open innovation, co-creation or design thinking. It will be an opportunity to share some thoughts that have been present on the blog last months: user-centered research approaches, hackathons or the role of civic apps in social engagement processes, and also to explore and raise questions on to what extend should technology be used and what kind of services can we expect from citizen-based co-creation processes. I will be sharing this round-table, under the title, Co-design for Social Creativity, with Louis Albrecht (Cath. Univ. Louvain), Davide Biolghini (Studio Teos) and Margarita Jancic (ex Ministry of Slovenia), and will be moderated by Grazia Concilio and Francesca Rizzo

Apart from that, Claudio Forghieri has also invited me to join the Steering Committee of the Smart City Exhibition Bologna 2013, an event that will take place from the 16th to the 18th of october. The first meeting of this committee will be held during Forum PA and we will be working in the following months to help the objectives of the congress become realized. Along with being part of the committee, Bologna will be a new chance for a public talk, this time oriented to share some thoughts on the idea of adaptive urbanism as a way to create new economic opportunities and civic engagement.

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