Weekly experimenters updates #7

Catch up on what the experimenters have been up to this week.


This week has been intense for the colleagues in software development at the ParGarCom team. No one said that programming an app with the established requirements was easy.

Different problems were solved daily, such as the process of identifying users and uploading images generated by users. As far as we know, the process is about to be solved.

In parallel, we have contacted Santander to define the dates of a live presentation to the residents and potential users of the app.

Also, two of the team members were interviewed by the local radio station Radio Calvià to talk about the ParGarCom project and explain what a Smart City was. The interview audio can be heard here!

Talking City

TalkingCity aims at making urban data repositories and smart city services more accessible to citizens, offering them the option of interacting through a conversational interface powered by a chatbot.

The TalkingCity team has released a first version of its chatbot, which addresses the needs and pains uncovered during the co-design workshop organised in Aarhus (DK) back in November 2017. The chatbot, which runs on Facebook Messenger and allows users to search for events taking place in the city, is currently being tested in Aarhus: follow us on Facebook for the latest news (and to give it a try yourself).

The TalkingCity team will be visiting the city of Aarhus on Feb 28th and March 1st, in case you want to meet, drop us a line at, the coffee is on us!

Open Data Velenje

In previous months we were communicating consistently with our partners (organisations that are willing to share data with us) so that they fully understand what we want to achieve.

This month our development team is working on implementing what we have agreed on. A lot of technical work is behind us. Our local OrganiCity site is now fully working. We have switched our focus on our interface. We are now able to transform or prepare local data in a way that we can send it to OC Orion.

The interface will be developed by the end of this month and we are now moving on. Next step will be connecting organisations to our interface and with that to OC Orion.

Data On Site (Research[x]Design)

Towards deployment in Leuven

We have been busy analysing the Aarhus workshop outcomes to improve our methodology for the deployment in Leuven. We are meeting with the city next week to plan the next workshop and the practical deployment.

We also continue to think about the sustainability of our project. We have worked out a first draft of a business model and have had some valuable input from a business manager specialised in open source tools for municipalities.

For our deployment in Leuven, we are setting up a local OrganiCity site. This site has been set up and we are currently working on finalising the federation of local parking sensor data. The automated process is nearly finished and you can find an example right here.

Finally, we are sketching new casing and hardware designs to house the public visualisations. These will allow for versatile urban installation, but also offer some customisation possibilities for branding.


As our workshops approach, we’ve begun the process of tying together all the pieces of the project. With the backend infrastructure that’s at the heart of the project all built, we worked on the other aspects - connecting the app to the server, having it interface with the wearables and fitting the recommendation model in to the app. More on this to come, but this week we wanted to take the opportunity to share an interesting piece of the WearAQ puzzle.

One of the success metrics of the experiment is the accuracy level of the correlation between participants’ perception data with the actual readings of AQ in the surrounding environment. We are aiming to collect measurements of this data and over the last few weeks we worked with ScienceScope to identify suitable AQ sensors for the project. Using these sensors, some participants will have theirs built in to their wearables and carry them throughout their walking tour.

We had some criteria in finding a suitable sensor:

  1. It had to be portable and relatively small enough for participants to wear during the workshop walk.
  2. It needed to be a general aggregation of AQ, not a true reflection of AQ data on site, does not need to be highly calibrated - we learnt from the first WearAQ project that the challenge with using highly calibrated device is that it takes time to set and calibrate and hence does not work well being carried around.
  3. Lastly it can interface with the microcontroller board that we are using for the wearables.

We have identified a suitable one: GP2Y1010AU0F Compact Optical Dust Sensor.

With this we’ll be able to detect fine particles, generally ones that we’ve found have an effect on AQ perception, and use this to correlate subjective with actual readings. We’ll be aiming to upload the data to the Organicity platform so follow us if you’re looking to see what we find!

Co-creating and engaging the Tranquil City

This week we have been planning and promoting our Tranquil City exploration events for next week.

We have been discussing with our stakeholders, methods of promotion to their audience, such as newsletters, twitters campaigns and flyer distribution for our target audience. This has been an eye-opener for us, as we all have a background in consultancy and tech development, so learning about how to promote and market is very new to us, but very interesting. We have agreed many great channels to help promote our events, such as, daily tweets from our stakeholder’s twitter accounts (for the week leading up to the event), flyers distribution to local cultural hubs, mental health support centres and GP surgeries and future newsletters.

Please join us on our explorations of our three focus areas:

Wednesday 21st February @ 12:30pm-13:30pm – London Bridge & Better Bankside Register here!

Saturday 24th February @ 12:00pm - 14:00pm – City of London Register here!

Sunday 25th February @ 12:00pm - 14:00pm – Deptford Register here!

We have also been developing our User Journey testing questionnaire, to provide detailed feedback on the first phase Tranquil Pavement London. These are detailed questions on usability.
If you would like take part, please email us at

t_footer(); ?>