"Lose your way: Towards a Citizen-driven city" Workshop

May 3rd, 2016

Design & the City 2016 was a conference organized by Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences from the 19th to the 22nd of April. The summit explored citizen-centered design approaches for the smart city. Its central theme was the role of design(ers) to create opportunities and practices for citizens, (social) entrepreneurs and policy makers towards more livable, sustainable and sociable urban futures.

On the 22nd of April ENoLL and Tampere UAS co-organized the workshop “Lose your way: Towards a Citizen-driven city”, a full-day workshop involving a few ENoLL members and exploring the concept of Smart Cities through a lens that promotes citizens as the driving force of urban innovation and urban planning. Participants had the opportunity to share their best practices and discover the ones pre-selected by the organizers. One of this pre-selected project was ECIM, disseminating the creation of smarter mobility services across Europe.

Throughout the ECIM Playground session, participants learned about the project’s origins; current achievements; the living lab concept applied during the pilots; heard about the on-going app challenge; furthermore participated on a brainstorming session in order to enrich the existing content of the platform with new creative app ideas. Participants were asked to think about their, or other fellow citizens’ transportation/mobility related needs and challenges in their own local environment/city. During the session three groups have been formed, resulting three different new multi-modal app ideas.

A localized weather forecast and cycling mobility app

The proposed solution was a part of the multimodal services offer integrating parking, public transport, cycling and walking as mobility means. Between the four listed transport means, the team focused on cycling in particular. Different cycling related services were included in the multimodal app idea, namely sharing your bike; renting a bike; parking it; repairing the bike and sensor based weather forecast for cyclist. As an additional functionality the team proposed to offer the option of route sharing, which was called: “Make your own route” in order to manage and save time for cyclists. Users can plan and later share their route and experience, by recording their journey, uploading photos, recording sounds, sharing shortcut tips. The categories identified based on different interests were: sports related trip; fastest way; safest route option and scenic (recreational) routes.  The app idea was proposed for residents and similarly for non-residents.

Way finder – in real time

This group focused on pedestrian mobility services, bringing in a whole bunch of new data services that facilitate and enhance the pedestrian experience in cities for different user groups. In this group the social innovation aspect played an important aspect when articulating the users needs. The team identified the following user types and the connecting services:
–    Lonely, socially isolated users
The aim: Bringing people together in public spaces
Info and services: Sharing public events data; Mapping public places where people gather together

–    Homeless people
The aim: Better knowledge about available social services in the city
Info and services: Sharing info about shelters, public toilets, fountains, drinking water; creating a “gipsy map”)

–    Visitors
The aim: Way finding for visitors and new students to the city
Info and services: Creating a map with Beacon technology; sharing public
transport APIs

–    Cyclist
The aim: Providing better air quality information; avoiding congestion and discover safe cycling routes
Info and services: Map APIs on traffic; APIs on air quality sensor data

–    Parents with babies
The aim: Facilitating the families’ daily walks by mapping places, where they find information on where they have access to the infrastructure that parents need with small babies
Info and services: Mapping stroller paths with still rooms (for breast feeding), benches, and toilets

–    Gender/Queer Map
The aim: Ability to quickly identify safe spots in the city in case if the person feels in danger
Info and services: Localising safe circles, light places where more people are usually present

–    Dementia patients
The aim: Instant help to people who feels lost and looking for professional help around them; identifying where they want to go and where they currently are
Info and services: Registering information about places where experts are available to provide professional help

–    People living with disabilities
The aim: Giving better accessibility information
Info and services: Mapping slopes for people with wheel chairs, more info about road surface, elevators, public toilets for people with disabilities

Bright Ideas team

The third team put a strong accent on involving citizens in the development process of the multimodal app services by adding such app functionalities that the end users like and recommend. The team listed various services to integrate in the multimodal app. As a positive feedback we noted that several of them exist already on the ECIM platform.
They listed the following mobility services to be integrated and connected via the common APIs:

–    sharing bikes;
–    sharing own parking lots
–    hitch a ride service integrated
–    sharing more information on bike usage in general and boats in Amsterdam – integrated with different means of transportation – public transport and parking
–    local mail delivery
–    Uber connected to bike renting service
–    Consolidated payment system – conversion for tourists
–    App to show free parking lots

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