Data is a valuable tool for helping us build better cities. We can gather and use information from environmental conditions, people’s movements, public transport, housing, energy consumption and many other fields, to understand how our cities currently operate and how we could manage them differently. These insights have the potential to transform our cities as they develop into the digital era.
Cities are already in transformation through the use of digital technologies; these cities are often referred to as “smart cities”. Although many city authorities choose to embrace innovation, there is a lack of experience in how to best use data or how to become a good “smart city”.
The underlying premise of OrganiCity is that the growth of the digital city must involve everyone in the city. Currently, many citizens are unaware of this transformation, even though they regularly contribute to the generation of data – by tapping their cards on public transport systems or entering personal details to access wifi networks. We want these citizens to understand how their cities are evolving, whilst actively collaborating with city authorities, small and large businesses, researchers, entrepreneurs and social enterprises to positively impact these developments. Progress will not occur in silos: all these sectors need to come together and collaborate to define the future of cities. Everyone that is affected or can contribute to the definition of the digital city should be invited to the conversation.
When cities offer Experimentation as a Service to their stakeholders (citizens, businesses, etc), cities are effectively empowering them to be active in the development of solutions to tackle their local issues. This relationship between a fostering city authority and active citizens enables us to build the future of the city together, with citizens at its core. Furthermore, this model for systematic experimentation in a live environment can be adopted by cities around the world as a foundation for pre-commercial procurement and innovative operations. Based on open standards and evolving global specifications, OrganiCity offers a best-practice approach to bridging the gaps between authorities, citizens and developers in the digital transformation of cities.
Systematic experimentation: Experimenting in a methodological manner, evaluating the results of each step to inform the development of the next steps or to scale to a different setting.