City Challenges
Smart urbanism

Meeting the digital urban experiment community

October 20-22: OrganiCity joined ICT2015 – the European Commission’s Innovate, Connect, Transform conference in Lisbon – to have a dialogue with cities, companies and organisations from around the World and prepare for the OrganiCity open calls.

Early next year, the first OrganiCity open call invites everyone interested in data, sensors and the co-creation of better cities to experiment. ICT2015 in Portugal was a suitable place to prepare and tweak this first call – to present OrganiCity to the international, digital, urban experiment community and to have valuable conversations with city representatives.

In the words of OrganiCity Coordinator, Martin Brynskov:

“One of our goals is to connect with new cities; we wish for a lot of cities to become connected to the OrganiCity Experimentation-as-a-Service facility – to become OrganiCities, very much in the same way as London, Santander and Aarhus. This means that citizens will be able to experiment in a systematic way – to fiddle around, and then mature and grow solutions to the many challenges posed by working with the complex systems within systems of cities.”

Experimenting is the way to go
OrganiCity is about making cities smarter through experimentation rather than through the search for the perfect solutions. This approach has a high potential, also in an ICT context, because, as Martin puts it:

“It has turned out to be extremely difficult to figure out what kind of solutions are well-suited for cities. The attempts to do so simply haven’t worked. This has to do with the fact that cities are very complex – and that they are still largely sector based.”

The OrganiCity approach to city making was presented in Lisbon, and there was plenty of interest in our experimentation-as-a-service facility. This was especially the case in the city discussion forums – like the Open and Agile Smart Cities Networking Session. Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) is a Network of 75 different cities working together to unleash cities’ social and economic development through common standards. One result of this general interest in OrganiCity was a number of specific collaboration agreements with local and national government representatives. This spurred directly the participation of OrganiCity coordinator and OASC chair Martin Brynskov in the Shanghai Smart City Expo, which followed the ICT event in November, in China.

Read more on OASC’s website and ICT2015’s website.

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