L[i/o]ving cities

Posts tagged ‘smart’


I want to stop talking about airports for a while and continue talking about smart cities. In former posts I have talked about Smart Cities and I have said that it is important that citizens have to be the new center of decision of smart citizens. I have also supported that technology does not have to be the next barrier or the next excuse to oust citizens from public decisions.

In this City Lines post I also want to make you know this brilliant initiative to build our Smart Cities

you also have an english subtitled version here

You can see how this initiative goes one step beyond of what I said before and tries to build the smart city in a collaborative way. If we work with open source, open hardware solutions and collaborative people it is posible to have low cost solutions to build this smart cities that sometimes sound really odd for citizens. This is a brilliant idea that puts the citizen in the middle of the city construction and give us the tools to start making our own smart city.

Beyond this initiative it is also amazing how crowdfunding platforms as Goteo are arising in the Web. This kind of tools are already a real way to find the funds that governments are not able to provide to this kind of start up initiatives.

You can support Smart Citizen initiative here!



Somehow, when somebody talks to me about smart cities I start thinking about all the movies of the 80´s that I used to watch in my childhood, and I remember some futuristic cities and situations. Of all these movies, the strongest memory I have is from Tron, (the classical one, of course) with the red and blue motorbikes racing for their lives. Wow, it was amazing thinking about what the technology would provide!!


Tron was about a “supermachine” that controlled people´s memories and lives, and there was a character (the good one) that was trying to recover people´s lives. Actually, smart cities could have some similarities with that script, and I will explain.

I really agree with ICTs and other new technologies as a tool to improve our life quality and to achieve a better efficiency in the use of natural resources. I also think that it is absolutely necessary to invest in ICTs in our forthcoming smart cities, because nowadays´ civil engineering know-how is based on 19th and 20th century technologies.

But on the other hand, all these improvements cannot be presented as a new enlightened despotism ruled by Tron´s “supermachines”. Smart cities should not be ruled by new technocrat elites who know the performance of the new technologies and who tells us what machines “think” that are better for cities. Those could be smart cities, but definitely they are not smarter cities.

I think that technologists have to be the facilitators to get ICTs closer to citizens. Citizens have to be the new center of decision of smart cities and citizens have to be educated to consider social, environmental and economic criteria in their decisions. I also think that we have enough new ways of data visualization, communication media and social networks to be effective enough in this thrilling process of educating people and bringing smart cities (sorry, smarter cities) closer to citizens.

The next episode in your city!

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