Hands interacting with Smart Citizens materials

ProjectSmart Citizen Initiative

Smart Citizen Initiative

How can municipalities build smart cities by supporting local citizen-driven initiatives?

As innovation partner of Uppsala Kommun, RISE Interactive is developing a “citizen dialogue" platform for identifying citizen-driven initiatives and co-developing them into demonstrable options for smart public services in the project Smart Citizen Initiative.

The idea of Smart Citizen seeks to bring a re-focus from the city infrastructures of the ideal smart city – fueled by algorithms and digital interactions – to support people’s ingenuity performed in “regular" daily life interactions. The foundation of the project is created by the mapping of the visible and tangible understanding of citizen’s lives and interests, as materialized in the kit Citizens in the Center.

The current version of the toolkit represents citizens’ lives and interactions around six citizen-driven initiatives in Uppsala, featuring, among others, a self-help volunteer-run bicycle workshop, a tailoring and dry-cleaning business inside a shopping mall, and a tech-focused co-working space in Uppsala. It consists of:

Designed materials and activities that can lead to the conception of future smart services through a tangible and empathetic understanding of citizens’ lives.
A timeline map that explores the meaning of “smart” based upon academic research and policy documents on “smart city”. 

A mapping of the kit's contents were showcased in the RSD6 Exhibition, Relating Systems Thinking and Design 6 by Oslo School of Architecture and Design, in Oslo, Norway  18th-20th October 2017.

The kit can be used in meetings of different lengths or longer workshops to support valuable dialogue about future changes of a city among different actors. Both the material of the kit and the sequence of designed activities can be altered and adapted to different contexts and topic areas.

Check out how the kit has been used in an over 100-people workshop themed Sustainable Cities on RISE Innovationsdag.