Stakeholder engagement in smart city (re-)development
Location 117a
Date and Start Time 03 September, 2016 at 09:00
Sessions 1


  • Tally Hatzakis (Open University) email
  • Susan Winter (University of Maryland) email

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Short Abstract

We invite interdisciplinary insights, methods and best practices on citizen and informal social networks engagement on smart city (re-)development.

Long Abstract

The track objective is to discuss the various ways in which stakeholder groups, particularly citizen groups and social enterprises, engage in smart city development. We consider cities as effective boundary objects, structured and stable enough to to organise activities and support work practices, yet malleable enough to support a number of different activities and practices to coalesce. Hence, cities can support the development of shared representations, cooperation and mobilisation of resources for collective (Levinia and Vaast, 2005; Bergman et al., 2007). As such, their redesign provides a grand challenges requiring various situated practices (Farías 2011).

Faced with the many social, environmental and economic challenges posed by increasing rates of urbanisation and social change, smart cities across the globe seek to utilise information technologies to improve their overall 'look and feel' and functionality. This provides the kind of large-scale and broad scope, grand, challenge that demands everyone's attention and more so citizen participation. Hence, we invite scholars with various backgrounds - social scientists, technology and humanities experts, city planners, political scientists and many more, to discuss processes of stakeholder engagement in smart city urban development - governance, design, participation, policy, mobility, smart technologies, infrastructures, master planning and urban (re-) development. Emphasis will be given to engagement methodologies and case studies, particularly those involving citizens - citizen groups, social enterprises and informal social networks, as well as evaluative research.

This track is closed to new paper proposals.


Challenges in introducing IT in participatory urban planning

Author: Kari Kuutti (University of Oulu)  email

Short Abstract

The paper discusses on challenges of facilitating citizen engagement in participatory urban planning by the means of experimental IT systems. The facilitation is possible but far from easy and simple. The experiences from three different cases are used to illustrate the challenges and problems.

Long Abstract

The paper discusses on challenges of facilitating citizen engagement in participatory urban planning by the means of experimental IT systems. The facilitation is possible but far from easy and simple due to a number of issues in different areas and at different levels. Some of the issues are related to different needs and expectations of different stakeholder groups. Other issues are related to the long timescale typical in urban planning projects, and the evolution of such long endeavors. The functionality, robustness, and the need for long support for technology are also an issue, like the fact that each stakeholder group is already living in a digital environment of their own. Finally, there are cultural issues in publishing papers reporting on technologically rather mundane experiments within a publishing culture favoring the use of leading-edge technology. The experiences from three different cases and systems are used to illustrate the challenges and problems. The WebMapMedia is a simple map-based social media to collect location-oriented comments from citizens and used in half a dozen of short experiments around northern Finland. Urban Mediator is a more advanced system that has been evolved in a rather long series of related experiments in Helsinki. Finally Mixed Reality Tent is a technologically high-end movable laboratory for participatory design sessions, developed by a large EU project and experimented with in several European cities.

Co-design of smart city infrastructures - Towards an agenda

Authors: Claudia Mendes Bernhard (Technical University of Munich)  email
Hannah Varga (Humboldt University of Berlin)  email

Short Abstract

This paper aims to identify guidelines for successful co-creation of smart city infrastructures. It is based on the evaluation of a series of techniques and methodologies to enable collaborative design within the smart neighborhood development of Neuaubing-Westkreuz in Munich, Germany.

Long Abstract

The promises of smart technologies for a more sustainable urban development and an increasing quality of life within cities are manifold. However, most people do know little about the actual devices to be applied, their purposes and their impacts on i. e. the body, social structures or cultural practices. Also, experts often are still unaware of the actual potentials and consequences of specific technologies.

Looking at these problems of ambiguity, uncertainty and complexity (Renn 2008), there seems to be a need for more than mere citizen consultation. In order to assess, understand and define aspects such as purpose, type, cost and benefit of data collection, and to get to user-centric innovations, it is crucial to involve a broad variety of stakeholders in a collaborative research and design process (Opromolla et al. 2015).

The aim of this paper is to identify principles for a successful implementation of co-design in smart neighborhood re-development, based on the case study of Neuaubing-Westkreuz, Munich, Germany:

From April 2016 onwards a series of workshops and events will be organized in order to achieve co-design of smart city infrastructure. Experts from engineering, IT and urban planning are going to collaborate with stakeholders, local residents and experts form organized civil society. By the end of August 2016, the first phase will be finished and a first evaluation of methods, formats, group dynamics and results will be presented. Themes to be addressed will include activation of different groups and milieus, expert-layperson-communication, and facilitation of the creative process/ prototyping.

Between Smart surveillance and military urbanism: the case of Aerostatic Balloons in Santiago de Chile.

Authors: Martin Tironi (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)  email
Matías Valderrama (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)  email

Short Abstract

Militarized urbanism, smart city, controversy, surveillance technology, Santiago, criminality.

Long Abstract

A modern surveillance system was implemented in two of the wealthiest municipalities of Santiago de Chile in the form of high-flying aerostats equipped with high-resolution cameras remotely controlled. This system auto-defined as "smart" and initially designed for war and border control was brought by municipal entities to face "the war against crime" and "manage public space more efficiently". However, it immediately generated a series of conflicts related to the profound violation of privacy and excessive surveillance that such a device may imply in the city. This article describes the different and opposing tactics displayed by the actors involved in the controversy: on the one hand, the work of its representatives in order to unmilitarize and decontextualize the technology; on the other hand, the attempt of its opponents to remilitarize and repoliticize the technological artefact of surveillance. Along with this study, in situ maintenance and operating interventions of the surveillance aerostats are analyzed, as well as how people coexist and deal with the devices, making them part of their daily lives and routines. Through the analysis of these dynamics, the article shows how this foreign surveillance technology adopts different degrees of operation and how as an actor it is enacted with various hints, visions and activities.

A taxonomy of Smart City participation

Authors: Merel Noorman (Maastricht University)  email
Dorien Zandbergen (University of Amsterdam)  email

Short Abstract

In this paper we will develop a taxonomy of different forms of participation in Smart City creation, based on overview of relevant literature and comparative ethnographic research conducted in three different Smart City settings of innovation.

Long Abstract

In recent years policymakers, companies, government institutions, and citizen organizations across the world have argued that Smart Cities can only fully harness their potential when they are participatory, i.e. when its data infrastructures are sustained by the voluntary active cooperation of citizens. However, the concept of the Smart City is at best a "flexibly interpreted cluster of guiding visions" about future urban life (Borup et. al. 2006) that offers few clues as to how to best organise such participation. The term has been used to refer to socio-technical arrangements as different as smart lampposts, online citizen platforms, health-at-a-distance, smart grids and citizen sensor networks, and has been used in reference to innovation settings ranging from the hierarchical and secretive to the playful and public. Moreover, 'participation' appears in different forms in Smart City discourse, for instance as engagement on online platforms for democratic decision-making; as citizens' control over their personal data; or as citizens using data to save costs and/or to live more comfortably. In this paper we argue that without a detailed 'taxonomy' (Kelty 2015; Fish 2011) of different Smart City initiatives and of the different ways in which these frame and foster practices of 'participation', it is difficult to say anything meaningful about the ways in which Smart Cities are, or should be, participatory. We propose such a taxonomy based on an overview of relevant literature and comparative ethnographic research conducted in three different settings of Smart City innovation.

Smart Technologies, Smart Governance and Smart Cities: The Role of Community Involvement in Local Governance

Author: Ravi Shukla (Netvision Corporation)  email

Short Abstract

This paper suggests that use of "smart" technologies in itself may not result in smart or effective governance. Involving local communities in the conceptualization and design of these systems opens up the possibility of having more effective systems of governance.

Long Abstract

The engineers and designers of smart governance systems tend to have a limited understanding of the social problem underlying the technical solution, just as those who understand social dynamics, lack the technical skills to implement them.

In a pilot study conducted with the marginalized, economically weaker, communities around the Jamia University in Delhi, the engineers responsible for developing the technical system were engaged in a ethnographic study to a) understand the needs and priorities of the communities in the area; b) to understand the role of mobile and internet technologies in people's day-to-day lives.

Since community engagement activities were entwined with technical specifications, the first step was not limited to gathering requirements for some specific focus of governance, but led to the identification of the garbage collection as the issue to be addressed.

This was followed by the development and deployment of software that involved SMS based communication between mobile devices and a website providing information on the issue (

Closer interaction with the communities helped technical team to understand how mobile and internet technologies were used and interpreted by the economically weaker, marginalized communities around the university. The sharing of the same mobile device within and between families and the extensive use of the mobile device as a video camera, for instance, led to architecture and process changes that may not have emerged solely from the imagination of the technical team. These could then be made an integral part of the system.

This track is closed to new paper proposals.