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27.4.2018 : 4:41

1.1 Societal View on Smart Cities

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The FIA Aalborg consolidated report is also available [undefineddownload pdf]


1.    Focus and main workshop topics

Focus of this workshop is on the societal dimension of smart cities, in particular on social innovation and participation platforms enabled by the Internet. The workshop is based on the following three sets of issues and questions:

  1. How do we understand the “societal view on smart cities”. How can societal problems and issues in cities be addressed through Internet-enabled social networks and social innovation platforms and which examples can be presented. How could social networks act as laboratory of social innovation. How can we understand the evolving innovation ecosystems of smart cities.
  2.  What are the new citizen-centric social innovation platforms that are emerging. How can these models be implemented in practice based on open networks and open data. How may the Future Internet enable social innovation platforms that enhance participation, wellbeing and sustainability in smart cities.
  3. What are possible partnerships, collaboration frameworks and business models for platforms of change stimulating social innovation and the development towards smarter cities. What could be the role of “living labs” or other innovation models or ecosystems to create, guide and manage such platforms.

2.    Background

During previous FIA meetings in Valencia, Ghent, Budapest and Poznan, the theme of Smart Cities and the Future Internet has received a lot of attention e.g. in the workshops organized by the FIREBALL and FIRE STATION projects. Smart Cities are in the heart of policy initiatives such as the Digital Agenda, whereas the FP7 as well as the CIP ICT-PSP and Future Internet PPP programmes are supporting a range of projects that relate to smart cities in connection with living labs, Internet of Things and the Future Internet.

In recent years, many cities have initiated “smart city” initiatives focusing on the socio-economic development and regeneration of cities, and building on the deployment of broadband infrastructure and the piloting of advanced applications in societal domains such as healthcare, government services, energy efficiency and mobility and transport. As the FIREBALL coordinating action project ( has investigated, many of these initiatives and strategies demonstrate a top down orientation and seeking a balance with bottom up initiatives. Increasingly, the notions of citizen empowerment, participative urban planning, and open collaborative innovation gain more attention in the strategies of transforming towards “smarter cities”, bringing the societal dimension of innovation and urban development to the forefront.  Empowering citizens and facilitating the creation of collaboration networks and communities may help cities becoming real “agents of change”.

In this context, an emerging topic which is explored in this workshop is the use and further evolution of the Internet as a common platform for social innovation, fostering socio-economic development, participation and change towards smarter cities. The underlying idea of social innovation is grounded in citizen co-creation and strengthening participatory capabilities to solve problems of societal nature.  To boost social innovation, it is important to consider not only the level of policies and available technologies. The most important thing to consider is the needs and aspirations of the citizens and their requirements. Only when citizens feel identified with the technologies and services offered, will it be possible to accomplish the objective to engage them in shaping innovation and urban development processes.

3. Format of the workshop

The workshop is structured in three sessions plus a final panel session of 30 minutes. Each session focuses on a particular set of questions. Sufficient time will be reserved for interaction with the audience.

Invited speakers will include experts and practitioners in the field of smart cities and social innovation, who are able to share their practical experience, including representatives of:

  • Cities, involved in smart city strategies and social innovation
  • National and international projects and programmes addressing social innovation enabled by the Internet, the role of living labs in social innovation etc
  • Agencies and other organizations including non-profits and academics involved in Future Internet, Smart Cities and Social Innovation.

4.    Workshop programme

The workshop consists of four sessions which are the following:

Part1: Societal View on Smart Cities
This session introduces the concept and actual issues of social innovation in the context of the societal view on smart cities. Keynote speakers will discuss:

  • Examples of societal problems in cities that can be improved through Internet-enabled social networks and social innovation platforms;
  • Regeneration of urban areas and the role of platforms for change and social innovation;
  • How social networks act as laboratories of social innovation in smart cities.
  • How can we understand the evolving innovation ecosystems of smart cities.

Moderator: Dolores Ordóñez, Prodigy Consultores. Keynote Speakers:

  • undefinedIñigo de la Serna, Mayor of Santander: Building the smart city relying on the social innovation
  • undefinedAlice Casey, NESTA: Social Innovation and the Internet: approaches and results from NESTA programmes

Part 2: Citizen-Centric Social Innovation Platforms Enabled by the Internet
This session addresses the emergence and role of social innovation platforms enabled by the Internet.

  • What are the new citizen-centric social innovation platforms that are emerging;
  • How can these models be enabled and implemented in practice based on the Internet;
  • What are the opportunities provided by open networks and open data to address social innovation;
  • What is the future role of the Internet to enable social innovation platforms that enhance participation, wellbeing and sustainability in smart cities.

Moderator: Khaldoun Al Agha, ICT Labs. Speakers:

  • undefinedZoheir Sabeur, University of Southampton IT Innovation Centre: Future Internet Smart Cities User behavior driven innovation platforms
  • undefinedDolores Ordóñez, Prodigy Consultores: Destination Hub: Holistic analysis of needs and demands of Smart Cities and Smart Citizens
  • undefinedJudith Pertejo,  ISDEFE: Social and Legal Aspects Related to Citizens Empowering

Part 3: Realizing smart city strategies for social innovation
This session focuses on how to realize in practice the smart cities strategies and platforms for social innovation.

  • What are possible partnerships (public and private sector), collaboration frameworks and business models (e.g. based on pre-commercial procurement) for platforms for stimulating social innovation and the development towards smart cities;
  • What could be the role of “living labs” or other models of innovation ecosystems to create and manage such platforms;
  • Practical results in realizing Internet-enabled social innovation and lessons for the future.

Moderator: Roberto Gimenez, HI-Iberia. Speakers:

  • undefinedDave Carter, Manchester Digital Development Agency: Urban regeneration, digital development strategies and the Knowledge Economy in Manchester.
  • undefinedHans Schaffers, ESoCE Net & Aalto University: Empowering citizens to realizing smart cities, results from FIREBALL Smart city case studies

Session 4: A Plenary discussion / panel
This session will discuss the positions in the previous three sessions and draw conclusions with a view towards Future Internet and Smart Cities related initiatives as well as Horizon 2020.

Moderator: Hans Schaffers, ESoCE Net & Aalto University

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