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Experiments

Weekly experimenters updates #15

We are in the final month of experimentation. Have a look what the experimenters have been up to in the last week.  

ParGarCom

Despite the fact that the project ended on March 31st and all technical development was completed, the Beesensor Technologies - Optimum Ventas team considered it convenient to extend it until the end of the month in order to close some sustainability and co-creation activities that had to be postponed to these dates.

As part of the sustainability and co-creation activities, contacts have been established with:

  • City Council of Palma (Majorca) - Area of Citizen Participation. The project was presented to them and the possibilities of implementation in Palma de Mallorca were assessed. As a result of this meeting, two action lines were opened:
      • Contact the Federation of Neighbourhood Associations of Palma de Mallorca to identify the most proactive ones and to carry out a co-creation session with them.
      • Negotiations have been made with the Federation of Palma Neighbourhood Associations and we are awaiting confirmation of the meeting to explain the project to them.
      • Contact the Tourism Department and specifically its manager, to evaluate the possibilities of implementing the project in the city of Palma.
      • On April 3rd, a meeting was held with Mr. Pedro Homar, manager of the tourism area, to discuss the project. We were told that they were in the process of creating an open data platform, which could be operational by 2019 and we were encouraged to make a proposal and adapt our development to this platform.
  • Federation of Palma Neighbourhood Associations. After the meeting with the Palma Town Hall, two conversations were held with the federation to inform them of the possibility of adapting the developments carried out to their use by the citizens of Palma, especially those living near green areas. We are waiting for a call.
  • Marratxi Town Council (Mallorca)
    • On April 13, a meeting was held with the press and Smart City Manager of the City Council, Mr. Carlos Castells, and with the councillor, Mr. Miquel Cabot, to evaluate the possibility of adapting the ParGarCom project to the municipality of Marratxi, adapting it to its needs. During the presentation of the project, they expressed interest in the possibilities of replicating it in Marratxí and we are expecting future meetings.

CAMoN Project

The week began with an interview given to the press of the Santiago de Cali University, telling how the project is progressing and providing the latest news such as the test with the prototype of the air quality monitoring device and the development of the app. Thus, by involving students in the development of experiments, new ideas, based on knowledge acquired in the university labs, can emerge to generate useful tools for the empowerment of smart cities.

  • Through this type of experiments, one can see how technologies are assembled, science and links to the community to participate actively in crowdsourcing.

    Co-creation activities were also developed from strategies designed by the CAMoN team. These activities were developed on both sides of the European and American continent.

The experimentation in two different cities, Cali (Colombia) and Cartagena (Spain), allows us to know how the work methodology of the different continents is and allows to create spaces of co-creation taking into account different contexts in which the experiment is developed.

In line with giving maximum dissemination to the results of the project, a working group was formed with the Government of Colombia, sector of the department of Valle, entities such as Dagma, Gobernación del Valle, Mayor of Santiago de Cali, Ministry of Health, SETIC , IDATIC and the directors of the Santiago de Cali University. All of them, together with the CAMoN team, were present in the same workspace

At the work table, environmental problems were exposed that can be controlled with the use of the app and the air monitoring device. This allows the linked entities to manage environmental issues in an inclusive way for citizens, promoting participation and creating community.

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During the event, there was time for gaming and space was provided for the in-depth interaction with the CAMoN app. Then, there was a brainstorming, which was generated together.

At the end of the activity, we were able to share a space for lunch and separate the waste generated in the Ecobot of the University.

You can learn more about CAMoN’s progress by visiting our website.

https://camonproject.eu

Research[x]Design

Last week we held a second workshop with LeuvenAir at the Civic Lab Leuven meet up. We started from the results of the previous workshop, the identified theme, target audience and context. This time we used the second part of the Citizen Dialog Kit methodology to focus on the content of the public displays. What is the story we want to tell? Which questions can we ask and answer?

Part 2 of the Citizen Dialog Kit methodology starts with brainstorming visualization ideas. Next is building narratives using the best ideas.

This week, some final changes were made to the hardware and casing. On the hardware side, the biggest improvement is the addition of solar powered battery pack’s to vastly increase the battery live of the displays. Initial tests indicate that under mild conditions this could allow the displays to remain active with hourly updates for approximately 5 days.

The casing of the displays was also improved with depth layers to add more structure to the narratives. Text is now more receded than the displays. Another addition are engraved, transparent fronts that can be easily exchanged and interwoven with the displayed content. This transparency makes the relatively simple underlying technology more visible to suggest easy assembly, but also highlight that the content is digital and interactive. Finally, the casing now uses a modular system with a universal back plate to which different casing designs can be attached in various configurations to support the presented narrative.

New modular casing design with a transparent back plate and engraved display fronts. We are now collecting more data to support the information in the third part of the methodology on the practical installation of the displays through different deployments in Leuven. The content is these deployments are based on the outcome of the workshops with Leuven Air.

Initial tests indicate varied installation possibilities and positive response rates from passers-by.

Edinburgh CitySounds

We have been continuing to build more boxes to house the Audio Capture Devices, using a community-run space called Edinburgh Forge. The new boxes are in the process of being commissioned and installed.

 

We ran a number of events to help publicise the project and to raise awareness.

On 5th April, field recordist and sound artist Chris Watson helped set the CitySounds project into a wider context by presenting recordings from his sound installation Inside the circle of fire: A Sheffield Sound Map. Before a large audience in the Reid Concert Hall, Chris guided us through a project that describes the sound world of the city of his birth in dynamic multichannel sound.

Sound artist and composer Martin Parker has been listening to material recorded by Edinburgh’s CitySounds project and has been recording audio from the Meadows himself. He has placed some of these sounds inside custom-built portable loudspeakers. On 5th-6th April, we presented this installation to the public in Edinburgh. Visitors were invited to move the loudspeakers around the space in order to design and reorganise the soundscape as they ‘hear-fit’. The sounds playing are not fixed but actually morph-based on the direction that the speakers face — every change in.

Tranquil Pavement (Tranquil City)

We have been pushing towards the end of our OrganiCity experiment this week. The key achievement was the launch of the new and improved version of the Tranquil Pavement London by our development partners Outlandish. As discussed in a previous update, the changes that have been implemented are:

  1. The addition of tube station locations and the ability to turn pollution data on and off to make it easier to use the Tranquil Pavement for navigation;
  2. Change of  the Tranquil Space Icon to improve branding;
  3. Making it possible for users to add their Tranquil Spaces via Twitter;
  4. Adding the feature for users to be able to highlight London’s Tranquil Spaces that they think might be threatened so that we can all work together to protect London’s tranquillity!

The new website is now live and we are working to publicise it and make the best possible use of the new features. Our aim is to get as many people posting Tranquil Spaces on Instagram and Twitter as possible (using #tranquilcitylondon) over the forthcoming summer so that we build a strong and sustainable community of users to help preserve and enhance tranquillity in London.

As part of our efforts to publicise us of the Tranquil Pavement, we have also been organising our final engagement events as part of the OrganiCity experimentation. We are working with partners Team London Bridge and Better Bankside to arrange a walk for the employees of a business located in the area. We have signed up a business to work with and are liaising with them to create a bespoke walk to help their employees to explore the area and make use of the available Tranquil Spaces to alter their daily commute and take advantage of the improved wellbeing and mental health that more tranquil routes can provide.  

We also met with the organisers of the Commons Platform, a new social media platform that is being developed. This sounded like an exciting project to be involved in and we expressed our wish to be part of the launch. The aim is for the Commons Platform to be private and secure, open source and decentralised, enabling everyone to collaborate on community organising, resource-sharing or anything else that makes their lives better. Definitely, something we would like to help with, and it seems like something that would help us to progress after the OrganiCity experimentation draws to a close!

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