A few weeks ago, the Human Data Interaction NetworkPlus held a workshop on ‘beyond smart cities’ in Edinburgh. Based on that, we’re now putting out a call for projects that we can fund (up to £50K) within this theme. August 2nd is the deadline, and the web page for it is here:
As the call says, we particularly welcome proposals that address topics such as (but not limited to) the following, from the perspective of HDI:
- Redesigning councils around data tech: too often, procurement processes are the bane of smart cities work, so: how can cities work in better ways? How can a city deflect the commercial push towards large-scale systems that are ‘canned’ generic products, rather than systems designed with and for it?
- Individual versus the Collective: How to deal with the way that, in smart city systems, the benefits to one person may mean costs or losses to others? Similarly, benefits to one city area may negatively affect other areas, or affect rural regions. How to design smart city systems in ways that take account of such inequalities and interdependencies?
- The encouragement or imposition of behaviours: Many smart city designs imply or demand behavioural changes among citizens, but who defines these, and how? How to handle the surveillance and governance issues stemming from this ‘push’ by cities upon citizens?
- How to trust data and services? Several of our workshop participants discussed variants of a ‘citizen science’ approach to trust, in which processes of data collection, measurement and evaluation are in the hands of citizens, so that they can act in a bottom-up way to feed into the processes of urban change. How can such citizen-led approaches create utile evidence for decision-making?
Fingers crossed we’ll get some good proposals!