|What:||workshop People, Data and Power|
|When:||Monday March 21st, 9 AM- 6 PM|
|Where:||Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS), Mauritskade 62, Amsterdam
Click here for directions.
|Register:||Places have almost filled up, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining.|
On March 21st 2016 the University of Amsterdam, the Centre for Urban Studies, Maastricht University and the Gr1p Foundation will organize a day of discussions, round-table sessions and keynote presentations on the promise of equal stakeholdership in the Smart City.
Many cities in the world are currently ‘upgrading’ into Smart Cities: cities made more sustainable and efficient by means of smart technologies and that will be most of all participatory. Yet, which responsibilities can citizens, municipalities and corporations effectively take in the mutual shaping of these cities? And what types of organizations and technologies should play a role? On this day, a broad mixture of people from different disciplines and domains – from privacy activists to urban scholars, and from representatives of corporations to municipalities and citizen organizations – will gather insights and share knowledge around these questions.
The conference aims to be one node in a growing alliance of people concerned with the mutual co-creation of Smart Cities. One of the outcomes will be an inventory of questions pertaining to equal relationships within Smart Cities which urgently need to be addressed. The aim of this inventory is to facilitate new alliances, new practice-based research projects and plans for open and accountable technological infrastructures and institutional arrangements. Results will be discussed at the City as a Lab evening in Pakhuis de Zwijger on March 24th as well as on this website.
Keynote speakers will be Adam Greenfield and Yan Zhu.
Adam Greenfield is a London-based writer and urbanist, currently a teaching fellow at the Bartlett School of Architecture. His books include Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing (2006), “Against the smart city” (2013), and a title forthcoming from Verso in 2016.
In his keynote, taking a very critical look at the term ‘Smart City’, Greenfield establishes some basis for meaningful commoning work in, with and around networked information technologies.
Yan Zhu is a security researcher and Technology Fellow at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, working on Let’s Encrypt, HTTPS Everywhere, and other projects for encrypting the web. She is also a Software Engineer at Brave Software, a developer of SecureDrop, and a former member of the W3C Technical Architecture Group.
In her keynote, Zhu will introduce the audience to threat modelling and invites them to collaboratively come up with a threat model for smart cities. She will then reflect on ways that engineers, government officials, and city residents can help avert these threats, mostly using lessons she has learned from cyberspace and the growing Internet
In thematic round-table sessions we will look at concrete cases and possible future scenarios around Smart City innovation. The overarching question of each of the roundtables is: Given the ideal of equal stakeholdership in the Smart City, what should be the respective roles of citizens, municipalities, firms and civic organizations in its creation and what types of technological arrangements can best safeguard this equal stakeholdership? How does this ideal relate to what happens now in practice? What needs to change? Each round will discuss these questions with participants from various backgrounds. The round-table sessions are organized in three themes looking at Smart City projects from the perspective of citizens, municipalities and firms.
Policy-makers, citizen groups and corporate representatives the world over tout the promise of Smart Cities shaped by active, involved citizens, operating at equal footing with corporations and governments. But what are the possibilities for citizens to actually get involved in the creation of Smart Cities? Smart Cities also gather large amounts of data on them without their knowledge, and not many people feel invited to be involved in the design of their digital surroundings. What forms of debate, types of technological infrastructures, accountability platforms and interventions are required to involve citizens in the mutual shaping of their city?
As cities collaborate with private firms and academic researchers on data-driven projects, city governments are continuously challenged to decide how to balance the public and the personal: on what basis should they make these decisions, and how collaborative should they be?
Corporations that develop and implement Smart City services and products are increasingly challenged to become trusted parties regarding data collection, storage and analysis and to better involve citizens into their innovation processes. The sessions in this theme discuss the various ways in which companies balance these demands with other interests such as the need to make a profit, to be fast and flexible and to honor existing agreements with their business partners.
Walk-in & coffee/tea
Welcome, introduction and presentation of the NWO research project on Equal Stakeholdership in the Smart City by Dorien Zandbergen;
Presentation of the Maps4Society research project From data subjects to data producers: negotiating the role of the public in urban geo-information data by Linnet Taylor.
Keynote Yan Zhu: a security researcher and Technology Fellow at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, working on Let’s Encrypt, HTTPS Everywhere, and other projects for encrypting the web. She is also a Software Engineer at Brave Software, a developer of SecureDrop, and a former member of the W3C Technical Architecture Group.
In her talk, Zhu will introduce the audience to threat modelling and invites them to collaboratively come up with a threat model for smart cities. She will then reflect on ways that engineers, government officials, and city residents can help avert these threats, mostly using lessons she has learned from cyberspace and the growing Internet
11.00 – 11.45
Parallel sessions round 1
Platform City (Smart Citizens): Government bodies both local and national are currently experimenting with digital infrastructures such as online citizen platforms. Austerity measures, decentralisation policies and the growing importance of civic self-organization are important motivational factors therein. Yet, how can governments, involved corporations and users collaboratively assure that these digital networks aren’t dominated by top-down interests and technology-push? How can these networks continue to profit from already existing, non-digital, initiatives that have proven to be successful and smart in connecting demand and offer, for instance in the realm of care.
Smartening-up public infrastructures (Smart Municipalities): Public-private consortia in many cities in the Netherlands are currently experimenting with embedding ‘smartness’ into existing public infrastructures. Sensors and/or camera’s placed in roads, sewage pipes, energy-grids, traffic lights or lampposts can contribute to a more efficient orchestration of urban life. Yet, they also alter public spaces in ways that are as yet unknown and collect data on domains previously non-existent. For most citizens it is unclear how to have a say in these developments. How can we involve citizens more actively in the interrogation and co-construction of these smart infrastructures? We will address this question by looking more closely at the case of the Smart Lampposts in Amsterdam Zuidoost.
The ‘googlization of health’ (Smart Firms): Much of the enthusiasm surrounding research using data generated from social media and mobile technology stems from the easy access to large data sets. But if for-profit companies become mediators, gatekeepers, or proprietors of data sets that are to some extent considered a public good, the question of who gets access, for what purposes and at what cost needs to be considered. In the current situation, we see a growing digital divide between big data “haves” and “have-nots,” based on access to and control over new technological infrastructures, databases, and forms of expertise. How can companies, health-researchers, users of health-apps and regulators come to agreements that can establish more equal relationships between all these stakeholders involved? These questions will be introduced by a presentation of research findings by technology-philosopher dr. Tamar Sharon on the ‘googlization of health’.
Parallel sessions round 2
Smart Activism (Smart Citizens): Is the smart city a rebel city? Digital networks are making it possible for urban social movements to scale up in ways that until the very recent past were unimaginable. At the same time, these same digital networks can also work against the power these movements build up and they can also extend the reach of state power through dataveillance and data-driven policing. How do movements and activists deal with this double-edged weapon? What technological, political and cultural resources can or should they mobilize? We will open up a discussion on these questions with a presentation by Simone Zeefuik, involved in decolonization initiatives and digital archiving projects documenting the black diaspora in Europe.
Rotterdam Smart City (Smart Municipalities): Based on an overview of Rotterdam-based Smart City practices, we will discuss how municipalities can make a difference in defining the extent to which data-gathering projects are open to democratic values and stakeholder involvement vis-a-vis them serving as surveillant apparatuses. In particular we will look at the differentiating role that can be played by technological design decisions.
Privacy-friendly data sharing (Smart Firms): Many Smart City technologies are based on the collection, analysis, use and distribution of large amounts of data about and from people. One of the parties within the Smart City landscape is Tippiq, an R&D initiative of grid operator Alliander. Tippiq is currently developing a data-sharing platform for services in and around the home. A key focus of Tippiq is to enable people to have control over the type of data they share and the conditions under which this happens. In this session, the initiators of this project will give their view on transparant data sharing where users and providers collaboratively organise data-sharing services. Their question for this table is what it would require to make such a data-sharing system – focused on privacy, safety, and user control – viable in the long run. Which roles and responsibilities can and should different stakeholders, such as service providers, users, and other organisations, take on? What kinds of governance mechanisms can guarantee the lasting reliability and trustworthiness of this system?
Parallel sessions round 3
Building an alternative Smart City (Smart Citizens): In the past decades several networks of hackers, engineers, activists, designers, entrepreneurs and citizen organisations across the world have actively explored ways in which to give more interventionist power to citizens living in a digital society – whether focusing on public debate and awareness or the design of alternative technological infrastructures. Yet, what needs to be done for such initiatives to mature into viable, bottom-up, peer-to-peer Smart City infrastructures? This question will be kicked off by a presentation of Jaromil who is playing an important role in many of these developments, amongst others through his Dowse project.
Sensing Cities (Smart Municipalities): As cities collaborate with private firms and academic researchers on data-driven projects, technologies and practices emerge that make citizens more visible through their data and challenge the boundary between private and public. In this session we will highlight the challenges involved and suggest ways of responsible decision-making through a discussion of several urban projects based on the private collecting of sensor-based data in public spaces.
The public use of mobile phone data (Smart Firms):Mobile phone data is being used and sought by city governments around the world as a source of information on the dynamics of human activities, behaviour and mobility. However, these data, even in aggregated and deidentified form, are some of the most sensitive available and have implications both for the city’s ability to measure its functioning and for its data management and governance practices. What kind of collaborations are emerging between city governments, researchers and telecoms firms, and how is access to and the use of this type of data being negotiated? In this session Jaya Baloo will present the considerations that mobile phone operators need to make when thinking about how to make mobile phone data available for city applications.
15.00 – 15.30
drinks & snacks break
15.30 – 15.45
concluding session based on round-table discussions
15.45 – 17.00
keynote Adam Greenfield, followed by discussion
In this talk, taking a very critical look at the term ‘Smart City’, Greenfield establishes some basis for meaningful commoning work in, with and around networked information technologies.
17:00 – 18:00
drinks & snacks