Since there cannot be a smart city without smart citizens, the award winner in the first category will be a project that has successfully involved citizens and/or other civil society stakeholders; has adopted a bottom-up approach; and is expected to tackle, or has already tackled, local societal challenges. Of the 14 projects nominated in this category, three stand a good chance of winning the award: • Reykjavik’s Better Reykjavik and My Neighbourhood e-participation projects • Utrecht’s Traffic lights hotline • Zaragoza’s Citizen Card
Reykjavik shortlisted in ‘Citizen participation and impact on society’ category
Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, aims to enhance citizen participation by developing two dedicated online platforms.
Better Reykjavik is an online consultation forum where the locals can submit, discuss, and prioritise ideas about the municipality’s public services and administration. Each month, the top-rated ideas are processed by the council ‘s standing committees. Once the feasibility and costs of each project have been assessed, citizens are invited to vote on them in My Neighbourhood, another tool that enables them to participate in the annual budgeting process.
Since its launch in 2010, Better Reykjavik has inspired more than 70,000 people to propose and discuss over 4,500 ideas. To date, 420 ideas have been approved by citizens via My Neighbourhood.
The city of Reykjavik operates these websites jointly with the Citizens Foundation (www.citizens.is), a non-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging citizen participation in governance.
Further information about Reykjavik’s cooperative initiative is available at http://reykjavik.is/en/better-reykjavik-0.
Contact person: Kristinn Jon Olafsson, project manager, Reykjavik smart city: Kristin.jon.olafsson[at]reykjavik.is
Utrecht finalist for ‘Citizen participation and impact on society’ award
Utrecht, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, is often referred to as a cyclist’s paradise. This rapidly growing city faces new and unexpected challenges directly linked to its bike-friendly policies. Every day, upwards of 100,000 cyclists ride across the city, sometimes even causing traffic congestion … for their fellow cyclists! Many of them feel that the city’s traffic lights could be better configured, and that some are actually not necessary at all.
Pursuing a smart approach to mobility, Utrecht municipality launched, in February 2015, Traffic Lights Hotline, an online service asking residents to report traffic lights that could be deactivated (for part of the day) or reprogrammed. Nearly 5,000 reports have been received.
The hotline has since become a permanent service, enabling intelligent traffic flow management and improving traffic safety. It is available at http://mobiliteitsdata-utrecht.nl/verkeer/vri/ (in Dutch only).
Contact person: Muriel Pels, advisor international cooperation and EU funding affairs; m.pels[at]utrecht.nl
‘Zaragoza Citizen Card’ top nominee in ‘Citizen participation and impact on society’ category
Zaragoza, capital of the Spanish region of Aragon, is located halfway between Barcelona and Madrid. It counts among Europe’s first open-source cities. Zaragoza Citizen Card is a multi-service smart card that can be used for accessing public services and facilities, including payment processing services.
To date, over half of Zaragoza’s adult population have already applied for such an ’all-in-one’ digital key to more than twenty municipal services, including public transport, parking, public libraries, swimming pools, and wifi.
This card is only one example for Zaragoza’s collaborative approach to smart city transformation. In addition to saving costs and making citizens’ life easier, the card comes complete with an open public API (application programming interface), which can be used by citizens to ask questions, and which generates data that can be fed into the city’s innovation ecosystem.
Contact person: Daniel Sarasa Funes, smart city programme manager: dsarasa[at]zaragoza.es