Live-blog of the conference at the MC Theater

Michiel de Lange from The Mobile City introduces the subject of today: how can we make our cities more social instead of just more hi-tech.

Martijn de Waal explains that although we will be talking a lot about technology today, it is not about technology in the end, but about the people that are living in de city.

One of the main questions remains: how dow we design for ‘ownership’?
It’s about engaging and empowering publics to act on communally shared issues, Martijn states. Due to new media, this is changing.

Examples that he mentions are Trash Track,  Co CollageUrban Eco MapCommons, Bike Tastic and Fallen Fruit.

We should talk more about publics, Martijn de Waal concludes. The notion of ‘collaborative consumption’, as in to collectively use private resources, is getting more important.

Usman Haque is the first keynote speaker of today. He explains, a lot of the complexity of designing social cities comes from the Western state of mind. We think that more knowledge leads to more action.

His Pachube project collects measurements, and tries to make sense of the collected data.
For example, the Geiger Counter Kit, that was used during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

A completely different project of Usman is the Natural Fuse. Natural Fuse creates a city-wide network of electronically-assisted plants that act both as energy providers and as circuit breakers.

Usman states that it’s not about the data, but about the proces of collecting the data. Decisions are being made at a local level.

Next up is the first round of showcases.

Alper Cugun of Hack de Overheid tells us about the app contest Apps for Amsterdam and – at a national level – Apps voor Nederland.

The next showcase is the Danish Instant Master Plan, presented by Anne-Marie Sanvig Knudsen, Niels Skovlund Madsen and Lasse Andersson. They report on how digital media technologies are used for tools to create new forms of citizen engagement in the troubled neighborhood of Vollsmose, Odense.

Following is NetworkLAB, presented by Lilet Breddels (Archis) and  Tomasz Jaskievic. Two recent projects were being discussed. The first, being a storytelling project at the NDSM wharf, in which objects were tagged with a newly developed prototag by the TU Delft. Second up was a project where Pachube was used to organize an issue-community around the debate on air-quality and the maximum speed-limit on the Amsterdam ring road.

The last showcase presentation before the lunchbreak is about UrbanISO by Mac Oosthuizen. Mac discusses a ‘colorful designed’ tag for environmental meters – design based on a QR-code.

Natalie Jeremijenko introduces the Environmental Health Clinic. The project approaches health from an understanding of its dependence on external local environments; rather than on the internal biology and genetic predispositions of an individual. She states that we we need to rethink our relationship towards natural systems. 

Examples: The Newsmotion Bike Messenger and xAirport where flight is simulated.



Sacha Stolp presents us the interactive map of Amsterdam Wastelands, which stimulates the temporary use of wasteland in Amsterdam. #BLT020

Paul Clarke and Rachel Feuchtwang are presenting ‘Give Me Back My Broken Night,  a mobile theatre work using pervasive technology that asks audiences to collaboratively imagine the future of their city. Using a combination of location sensitive mobile devices and portable projectors it creates a magical, relevant and cinematic experience for participants.

Ohyoon Kwon tells us about the Homeless SMS project.  70% of the homeless in London have a cellphone. The homeless people get information pushed every day: an inspiring quote in the morning and tips and tricks in the afternoon. By combining Twitter and SMS

Four outcomes of the workshops are presented. During the tea break people can have a closer look at the cases and discuss the subjects with the makers.

Next are the last showcase presentations. The first is about Urban Revitalization of Social Capital by Karli Scott.

Kars Alfrink shows us the making of the social game Koppelkiek for the inhabitants of the troubled neighbourhood Hooggraven in Utrecht in 2009. Ava Fatah of Screens in the Wild discusses the challenges for designing urban screens .

The last keynote speaker is urbanist and designer Dan Hill. He works at the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and shows us some interesting examples of his projects, which can be found on his blog City Of Sound.

He presents us a vocabulary, which we can use for further discussion.
Hill states that the culture of public decision making is the design challenge. He quotes Cedric Price “Technology is the answer, but what was the question?”. Unfortunately Government 2.0 = Government 1.0 with a Web 2.0 front-end. The dark matter does matter.

It’s time for the audience to ask questions to the keynote speakers. Dan Hill, Natalie Jeremijenko and Usman Haque have a final discussion about the dark matter, how to involve institutions in new projects and the role of the architect in designing social cities.