‘Can IoT create a smart society?’, was the provoking central question for the fourth edition of Thingscon Salon, a series of events organised by the team of Thingscon Amsterdam. We had both a workshop moderated by Changeist (Thingclash) as a meetup with cases and presentations to look into this question.
The backgrounds of the question is the observation that the thinking on the smart city is often all focused on an efficient infrastructure, on making the living in the city better by removing friction. Smart cities are often ‘designed’ from a top-down system view. Thinking on the true nature of cities however is the organic structure where bottom-up connections between different levels of user of the city key. This was also the message by our closing keynote at the last Thingscon Amsterdam by Ross Atkin who coined this with the term Clever City.
To reflect on this question we invited a mix of projects and thinkers that try to approach the smart city from an individual citizen level. All with different starting point. As Rob van Kranenburg concluded at the end of the evening, it was great to see how we all shifted from vision for the futures to projects in the now.
In the introduction of the evening I used the project of the Civic City as example. In that project we put focus on the process to involve the citizens in a neighbourhood. Thinking and making together with the people of Woensel-West in Eindhoven gave the insight that building a social structure in a neighbourhood is the main drive for the citizens.
The project of Staat van Eindhoven was presented later and has the same objectives to dive deep in the neighbourhoods and gather the motivations of the citizens living in the city. With DATAStudio a long running project (in Woensel-Noord) is set up for gathering the data on a hyper local level and translate this to insights for stakeholders like urban designers. Aim to make the best operation system for the city.