How can we put humans/citizens first in our smart city policies?

Are there any cities in Europe that own their own electric utility? In the US you do have a few. A smaller entity could try some experiments tailored to the needs of a district or neighborhood perhaps in ways the giant state power utilities would not want to do.

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Not sure about the rest of Europe, but in Germany there are quite some cities owning their power grid. There was even the case of Berlin buying back its own electrical grid, initiated by a citizen referendum in 2012 and now (since May 2019) it’s finally done (more details in English).

I am speculating, but I can picture how a Citizen based initiative could get some traction with the city where they might not have so many lobbyist to deal with. A large regulated utility has public meetings, but the ones I have attended are dominated by lobbyists and lawyers. The citizens groups get heard; they have their say, but in the end it is the lobbyist who show up for every meeting. And it is they who almost always prevail.

I remember a part of Walkaway describing as a walkaway settlement “pulsed” with the incoming renewable energy. It “sped up” when the sun was shining and the wind was blowing, buzzing with activities; and slowed its metabolism in in darkness and windlessness. People would work hardest in high metabolism phases, when all their tools and machines were fully charged; and retreated to board games, sleeping and hanging out in low metabolism ones. It seems a more efficient way to do things!

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Thanks so much for all these excellent pointers and links. So much good stuff, my reading list is growing with every reply :pray:

[Sent from a mobile, please apologize the brevity and typos.]

Just putting this out there, because, you know, it had to be shared:

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Uh yes. But mostly because it looks interesting :))

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The deeper I dig, the more I think we need to go all the way back to basic participatory processes, and optimize for representation first and foremost. I wrote up some thoughts over on my blog, thinking out loud. Please note this is all still pretty early stages:

https://thewavingcat.com/2019/08/developing-better-urban-metrics-for-smart-cities/

Would love to hear your thoughts, criticism, feedback!

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Where are cities that seem to be getting this right? What about Paris? That city always impresses me with how much the people enjoy their public spaces.

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Great discussion here!

Two ideas I wanted to add to the mix. The amazing designer Anab Jain wrote about the need for “more than human-centered design.” We know cities are more than just people. They contain all sorts of organisms and complex ecosystems. These have to thrive, too, if we except cities to be healthy for their citizens.

Also, I’m increasingly impressed with the citizen assembly format, pioneered in Ireland and now being rolled out elsewhere, to discuss issues across differing political positions. It resulted in reframing the abortion referendum with a more nuanced question that got to the heart of what the citizens wanted to decide. I think national governments, cities and even neighborhoods could implement these kinds of assemblies to great success.

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@pbihr this is a great and relevant discussion, and also one for which it would make sense to attempt merging online discussion and dialogue with a realive talk and/or workshop. How about making it an event during the Edgryders festival?
(https://edgeryders.eu/t/edgeryders-festival-november-19-29-invitation-to-participate-in-co-designing-the-next-gen-internet-track-of-the-program/10450)

You are based in Berlin, isn’t it? @mrchrisadams and @JollyOrc are also based in Berlin and interested in participating in the festival. It would be great if we could bring the Community members in Berlin together and help to realise some great discussions, talks and workshops together!

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That sounds like a lovely idea, actually! And @mrchrisadams and I have long been collaborating on all kinds of projects; and@jollyorc I had the opportunity to meet through the ER platforms! So let’s see if we can make this happen!

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What would you need to organise a session about this? There is a budget for covering costs of organising events during the distributed festival. @MariaEuler can point you guys to that stuff.

Great @pbihr ! Are you joining us for the community call on the 17th of September 18:00? That would be a good opportunity to discuss how to go further with this! https://zoom.us/j/788229402

Hi @mariaeuler I’ll be at Stockholm airport, and with a bit of luck it works out just before boarding!

[Sent from a mobile, please apologize the brevity and typos.]

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@pbihr Are you in Stockholm? Maybe we could meet for a coffee somewhere next week? :slight_smile:

Sename Koffi can be good to read and follow for the African perspective of Smart Cities.

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Sorry for the very late answer! I love the idea but I’ll have to pass for now because I’m really low on time these days :expressionless:

I love this from a glance, and I look forward to reading the whole thing. Also, this reminds me a little of the Seeds of a Good Anthropocene project: https://goodanthropocenes.net/

Not that exact focus but I think highly relevant in that it also collects best (or rather, “ideal”) practices…

[Sent from a mobile, please apologize the brevity and typos.]