(01 July 2015) – A very interesting report published by Nesta, with support of Intel China and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), tells the stories of cities around the world – from Beijing to Amsterdam, and from London to Jakarta – that are addressing urban challenges by using digital technologies to engage and enable citizens.
Many ‘top down’ smart city ideas have failed to deliver on their promise, combining high costs and low returns. ‘Collaborative technologies’ offer cities another way to make smarter use of resources, smarter ways of collecting data and smarter ways to make decisions. Collaborative technologies can also help citizens themselves shape the future of their cities.
In this report Tom Saunders and Peter Baeck argue that successful smart cities of the future will combine the best aspects of technology infrastructure while making the most of the growing potential of ‘collaborative technologies’, technologies that enable greater collaboration between urban communities and between citizens and city governments.
Drawing on examples from all around the world the authors investigate four emerging methods which are helping city governments engage and enable citizens: the collaborative economy, crowdsourcing data, collective intelligence and crowdfunding.