Smart cities
Smart cities

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Smart cities

Week 3: Smart citizens


This week you will explore the role of citizens in the design and planning of smart cities, and you will see how smart cities can be designed to be more inclusive. You’ll hear about design thinking and how to use it to co-create a smart cities project. You’ll also be introduced to living labs and crowdsourcing.

You will define your own smart city problem, building on the rich picture you created in Week 2. Make sure that you note down your thoughts in the Smart Cities Project Ideas Template so that you can refer to them again next week when you investigate smart city infrastructure, technologies and data.

You’ll have realised by now that it’s easy to get distracted by the wealth of resources and sites in the field of smart cities.

Watch the following video in which Lorraine launches the focus of the week.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_smartcities_vid_1019.mp4
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Technology has already transformed our lives. People are drawn to new applications of technology seeking solutions to their particular challenges. So how will smart technologies continue to transform our cities and what role will citizens play in their design? The top-down vision of a highly automated city might be efficient but for many the idea of big brother resonates leaving them wondering if it's the type of city they want to live in. Cities are exciting because of their openness and messiness. People are drawn to them in search of opportunities. And this creates an environment for people to contribute to their future.
The concept of smart cities is all about how smart technologies assist people to connect, to collaborate and tackle issues that matter to them. We'll be exploring the different roles citizens play in smart city initiatives. Are you a consumer, a prosumer or a co-creator of your smart city? Perhaps your city is a part of the European Network of Living Labs, working with citizens to co-design and implement smart city solutions. How can smart cities meet the needs of all generations and how can city systems be re-designed for citizens?
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By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • explain different methods of engaging citizens in the design and planning of smart cities
  • describe how the design thinking process can be used to co-create a smart cities project
  • explore ways in which smart cities can be designed to be more inclusive.

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