The Knowledge Society Forum (KSF) held another successful meeting held in Zaragoza on 22-24 October 2018. Cities from across Europe joined the event to share good practices and challenges related to digital developments and to debate the topics of co-creation with urban data, innovation, citizen data principles and women in ICT. Participants also trailed the KSF LAB with an interactive crowd-creation session for members to replicate and upscale urban digital solutions. Finally, the cities of Ghent and Barcelona were elected chair and vice-chair of the forum to lead the work for the 2019-2021 period.
The main highlights from the forum include:
Towards 10 citizen data principles by the knowledge society forum
For smarter, competitive, livable and democratic cities a more socially responsible use of data is needed. Participants discussed the importance of considering data generated in public spaces as a public asset, to be used and managed by the society, as a whole. Members discussed and further developed data ownership and curators, citizen in control, data protection, citizen’s privacy as well as transparency, interoperability, ethics and quality of data dimensions. The mayor of Zaragoza, Pedro Santisteve, officially launched the work for a set of ‘citizen data principles’ from cities to shape future European policies on the matter.
The digital transformation of cities as a human-centered process
How to improve citizens involvement in the local decision-making process? How to develop better services, that respond to concrete needs? These questions were at the center of the discussion of our taskforce on digital citizenship. Informing, consulting, involving and collaborating with citizens are all equally important ways of engagement. Cities use for example participative platforms, social media and gamification as digital tools to facilitate this engagement. Participants identified tourism, culture, healthcare and mobility as the main application domains. As a first concrete action the taskforce will create an open to the public blog helping cities to share good practices, articles and information on citizen engagements solutions.
Urban Digital Foresight
The interesting aspect of looking at the different emerging technologies is not about the technical aspects but about their real impact on cities and citizens. Our new task force on urban digital foresight brainstormed on emerging technologies currently in use and to be used by cities and on their great potential to address social and economic challenges. Participants also discussed the importance to find ways to reduce the time lapse between the emergence of a technology and the real adoption in cities. The meeting ended with a list of emerging technologies of interest for member cities on which the working group will focus its activities for the next year.
Accelerating innovation through the KSF LAB
Replicating and scaling-up urban (digital) solutions in Europe is a step-by-step and complex process that require time, knowledgeable and dedicated people as well as creativity. When successful it has great European added value. In Zaragoza, members collaborated to share ideas, methods and solutions for upscaling citizen cards services, replicating e-government solutions as well as IoT and acoustic data uses for park management and citizen engagement practices. The session was a test run of the ‘innovation accelerator’ proposed by the digital transition partnership of the urban agenda for the EU. Implemented as the KSF LAB, the ambition is to provide a facility for cities to strengthen co-creation for up-scaling digital solutions while also developing their innovation ecosystem back home.
The next EUROCITIES Knowledge Society Forum meeting will take place in Barcelona from 24-25 January 2019. The meeting will focus on technological sovereignty and artificial intelligence and its potential application in city management and urban services.