City Challenges
Smart urbanism

Weekly Experimenter News and Events



This week, we focused on something more exciting than car traffic!

As the weekend approaches, we’d like to give you quantitative insights on how activity changes in one of London’s most crowded nightlife spots: Hoxton Square. Our sensor is currently positioned to measure activity close to the south west corner of the square, just outside the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. The chart below clearly shows how activity is influenced by the opening times of the bar. Read more here.

Learn more about Traffic Flow here.hoxton_bar_weekend_2


This week, we went to Aarhus, Denmark to co-create public visualizations on the issues of air quality, traffic and green areas. Our approach was two-fold:

1/ Co-creation in public spaces: We installed our prototypes on shopping streets in the city centre, in the public library DOKK1 and at the entrance of Aarhus University Library of the Department of Social Sciences. As such, we interviewed passers-by on how they perceived the issue displayed. Interviewees who were passionate about the topic (positively or negatively), were encouraged to reflect on what else could be displayed and how they would display it. As a result, we have a selection of viewpoints, reactions and opinions on the issues, as well as implementation strategies for the next iteration of our prototypes.

2/ Co-creation workshops: We also organised workshops with experts, i.e., people who are already targeting this issue with their own initiatives. Here, we learned about the many solutions that are hidden in the data, and co-designed ways to suggest these to citizens. We will add a functionality to our prototype to allow communicating such (non-visualized) solutions as well.

Learn more about Public Like Displays here.


This week Tranquil City has been multitasking!

Firstly, we have been investigating our exposure to noise and air pollution when walking through the city. Our GIS mapped ‘Tranquil Pavement Map’ has helped us find the least polluted routes and highlighted the crowdsourced tranquil spaces across the city. Join us at our event on the 15th February (more details in the ‘Upcoming Events‘ section below) to experiment with the map yourself.

Lastly, we have putting the final touches to our review on how the health and wellbeing impacts of tranquillity in the city and our investigation of what urban tranquillity really means for people can help improve city development policies. We feel that by incorporating tranquillity in to our cities, we can promote healthier communities and contribute to conserving and enhancing the natural environment.

Learn more about Tranquil City here.

Tranquil City_TC interests and methods


Good quality data is the essential ingredient to great data products, but in its raw state, open data can be flawed and it’s often difficult to link public sector bodies with the named buyers in tenders and contracts, so it’s essential to link buyer data to lists of recognised public sector entity. We’ll be blogging about this soon, but take our word for it, it’s hard!

We’ve checked out the Organicity tools and evaluated them, but now we’re coming close to pushing everything to the OrganiCity APIs, so we can start the tool-based part of our experiment.

As we’ll soon have products to test, we’re pushing to recruit more beta users. If you’re interested in London’s public sector or data transparency, please get in touch: Of course, we’d be happy to test anything from other experiments if you’d like our help.

Learn more about Open Opps here.Open opps logo




When: Weds, 8 February 2017 / 18:45 – 21:30 GMT

Where: 133 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 7DG, UK

How can technology help us combat London’s air pollution crisis? 

Short talks, followed by drink & discussion.

This event, the first in a series, aims to introduce the challenge of air quality from a scientific, regulatory and political context, and the communities and projects that are helping to raise awareness and affect behavioural change to reduce air pollution in London.

Poor air quality is responsible for approximately 9,500 deaths in London every year. London breached EU annual limits on air pollution in just five days this year. The Mayor of London has dedicated almost £1billion of funding over the next five years to fighting the capital’s toxic air. Boroughs are implementing new stricter rules. London is now mobilising against air pollution.

Drinks and snacks will be provided. Speakers TBC shortly.


  • to showcase and understand the different approaches being taken to advance air quality monitoring;
  • to explore the potential for new tech to spark change; and to
  • to uncover common challenges which might be blocking action, whether on a city, state or European level.

Register for the event here.

Learn more about AirPublic here.


When: Weds, 15 February 2017 / 18:00 – 20:00 GMT

Where: Urban Innovation Centre, 1 Sekforde Street, London, EC1R 0BE, UK

‘Walking through the Tranquil City’ Workshop

We at Tranquil City would like to invite you to participate in a workshop to explore how we all can use tranquillity to choose healthier journeys through London and encourage low-impact transport methods.

Using our Tranquil Pavement Map, that displays crowdsourced tranquil areas as well low noise and pollution zones, we want you to experiment with and explore alternative routes between your typical destinations. These may be between home and work, or home and your favourite park or coffee shop.

We believe that by actively choosing our journeys to be slower, more beautiful, more in touch with nature and more tranquil, we can all improve our health and quality of life as city dwellers.

Register for the event here.

Learn more about Tranquil City here.



The Open Opps’ Organicity project will deepen understanding of how the public sector in London does business. We’re looking for beta users who would be willing to try it out. These beta users should be anyone interested in civil society, particularly in how government spends money. Whether you’re interested from a transparency, anti-corruption or business perspective, please get in touch:

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