Groupement INI : Intégration Numérique pour l'Industrie

11 octobre 2018

Smart city develops intermodality

Big Data and Open Data help develop intermodality and adapt this one in real time, while creating new uses in terms of moves. Many cities offer public transport users several possibilities and favor intermodality. So in San Francisco navigation applications such as Google Maps calculate various multimodal routes by integrating transport and taxi on demand (Uber).

Grenoble transport service, meanwhile, takes into account more options. Users have at their disposal an application indicating which is the most relevant travel mode: tram, bus, walk or car sharing, depending on traffic.

Cities with mobility data can offer alternatives to their resident and understand what travel are the masterplans in terms of moves in order to optimize them.

Dublin, which does not have a metro, had to reduce its bus fleet. However this loss has been accompanied by a new network management tool based on Big Data. The management system created by IBM reduces their travel time by 10 to 15% by identifying in every route which recurring place are problematic in order to make the necessary adjustments. As part of the HubCab project MIT researchers analyzed 150 million courses. They concluded that the number of trips could be reduced by 40% if they were grouped because of all the people going to the same places at the same times.

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No big data, no autonomous cars!

Loaded with sensors, autonomous vehicles collect and receive phenomenal amounts of data. Nowadays, connected cars which are not yet autonomous process between 80 and 200 different information in real time, generating, according to experts, up to 1GB of data per second.

As autonomy’s development in transportations will increases, Big Data will occupy more and more a central place, multiplying in this way business opportunities, including for new actors. According to McKinsey, in 2030, the market for data collected by connected cars will reach 750 billion USD.

Many actors will intervene to record and analyze those data: passengers’ identities, taken routes, traffic status and information in order to understand and predict pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles’ behaviors.

The sector has already launched its mutation which will be accelerated with the deployment of 5G. The digital’s actors are already positioning themselves. In this context, Valeo is became a partner of Apollo, the collaborative platform for the Baidu autonomous car - the Chinese Google. Here LLC, specializing in cartography and Fujitsu have partnered in order to offer complete solutions to car makers. Intel acquired Mobileye, the sensors and software manufacturer for autonomous cars. The car renter Lyft has teamed up with General Motors as well as Google with Fiat Chrysler and Uber with Volvo. The market is booming and everyone, from the start-up to the global company, can create brand new strategic alliances.


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Internet of Things: the Achilles heel of the smart city

The Internet of Things (IoT) by allowing the sensors’ integration represents the backbone of cities that can become smart ones by multiplying sources of information.

 In 2017, already 11.2 billion objects such as infrastructures, roads, street lightings, electricity, water distribution networks or transports were connected ... from simple monitoring to predictive maintenance, scopes of application are numerous

 In cities-wide, those thousands of connected devices transmit small amounts of data through low-speed networks in order to limit energy consumption and costs. France has managed to emerge an alliance concerning the LoRaWan protocol with actors like Bouygues Telecom and Orange or quality players like Sigfox or Qowisio, who struggle each other to impose their standard. However this diversity complicates the implementation of a unique and secure model. 

 Indeed, IoTs are as many possible entry points. To control those flaws, operators must apprehend security on three levels: 

 -        Objects

-        Communication networks

-        The cloud where all data are send 

In addition, operators must be part of the security lifecycle's management. In fact new software deployments, migrations from one cloud to another one, device replacements, involve rigorous management of identities, tokens and keys.


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Mixed data, smart cities' future

From October 2018, France, with its law on the " Digital Republic ", requires from communities with more than 3500 inhabitants to "open their data by default". If in the wake of Paris, cities like Rennes, Bordeaux, Montpellier and Lyon have already developed this type of initiative since 2010, but they are still too few to do it

In addition, data must be understood in a more global context in order to develop smart city services. Every day, citizens, private companies and public actors generate Big Data which are collected by sensors, captured by computer or shared on social media.

Those raw data which comes from different origins must be routed and have to transit to processing platforms which generate new information - Smart Data - to feed innovative services. Thus, by placing themselves in a logic of harvesting Big Data and by joining forces with different partners, cities discover glimpses of new managing ways.

Power suppliers can, from energy data, detect housing to be renovated or those which are vacant. Telecom operators can determine the number of people in an area and all their moves, as much information useful for planning transports.

Lille has teamed up with Waze. In exchange for city data on events and public works, the collaborative GPS provides real-time traffic data, including accidents which are declared by users in an average time of 4 minutes 30 minutes before the emergency services are aware of them.

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13 septembre 2018

It takes 'more than technology' to build a smart city

Smart technology cannot replace wise planning in building a city, Singapore's former master planner, Mr Liu Thai Ker has said.

Many young planners put blind faith in technology, thinking that knowledge of technology is enough to plan a city well, and this is the reason why urban environments do not do well, he said yesterday at a forum in Beijing.

Mr Liu was sharing his experience at the China-Singapore Executive Forum 2018, which discussed cooperation between the two countries in the building of smart cities and developing of the new economy.

While technology cannot replace planning, information technology can help the operation and efficiency of cities and buildings, he added. "If we understand this clearly, we will build a truly new type of smart city," he concluded in his keynote speech.

Noting that China is very strong in science and technology, while Singapore has a more mature approach in the use of technology in city planning and building design, Mr Liu said: "I look forward to Singapore and China learning from each other to create a more ideal world."

Chinese panellists acknowledged that there were shortcomings and challenges to overcome in China's endeavour to build smart cities.

Mr Qiao Runling, deputy chairman and research fellow at the China Centre for Urban Development, said the biggest challenge is the lack of ability to integrate.

He said within the government, there is a lack of integration between policies, functions and data. Transport, for example, is managed separately from green development. Different departments are information silos and there are also great institutional barriers. "A truly smart city should have chemistry and three-dimensional integration, otherwise you cannot talk about becoming a smart city," he said.

Mr Shan Zhiguang, secretary-general of China Smarter City Development and Research Centre, noted that 10 years after the idea of building smart cities was mooted in 2008, China is still at a tentative stage.

This is because there is a lack of a core concept of what constitutes a smart city; a lack of effective design theories and methods; and a lack of mechanisms for the long-term sustainable operation of smart cities.

The absence of standardisation, cooperation and sharing of knowledge and data across government institutions and the private sector was also brought up in discussion on the development of the new economy in China.

Mr Jerry Chen, the founding director of Tencent's Healthcare Big Data Lab, noted that China has huge amounts of data but these data are not linked up and so their value is not fully utilised. "From the perspective of national policies and companies working with each other, there should be greater guidance so that there is a better way or mechanism to give full play to the value of data," he said.

The forum, organised by the Singapore Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China and Caixin Media, also saw three closed-door round-table discussions on cooperation in healthcare, infrastructure and technology.

Source: - September 13th, 2018 - Goh Sui Noi China Bureau Chief In Beijing

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21 août 2018

Smart cities hold the key to a more connected and inclusive future for Africa

Mastercard, technology company in the global payments industry, continues to champion the fundamental role of smart cities in enabling a more connected and inclusive future for Africa. The company reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the development of smart cities through meaningful partnerships with both the public and private sector at the recent World Cities Summit in Singapore, where Mastercard was a patron sponsor.

Markets across the region are already heavily investing in the future of cities, with figures from the International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasting spend on technologies that enable smart city initiatives will reach $1.26 billion in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) in 2018. Commending the exceptional efforts of regional governments in implementing smart city initiatives and creating more opportunities for their cities’ transformation into vibrant hubs for innovation, Mastercard experts at the Summit shed light on the significance of a Public-Private-People (3P) model and data analytics as key enablers of the technologies that will open doors to the cities of the future.

“An inclusive future for all is a shared responsibility and we believe that effective collaborations hinged on a dynamic Public-Private-People model is the way forward if we want to unlock the full potential of our cities. Mastercard is focused on making cities more efficient and inclusive by enabling ecosystems that benefit residents, visitors and local businesses. The key to the success of these cities is partnerships, and we will continue to engage with governments, NGOs and leaders in innovation to enable a smarter and more connected future for all,” said Anton van der Merwe, Vice-President, Acceptance at Mastercard.

With two billion adults around the world still lacking access to financial services, Mastercard is helping advance inclusive communities worldwide through its collaborations. The company has partnered with over 60 governments globally to deliver more than 1,600 scalable programs in various cities and communities.

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko on - July 29th, 2018

30 juillet 2018

The Chinese and Dutch Smart Cities of the future

In recent years, the concept of smart cities has gained popularity quickly. Many countries are transforming their cities and investing in making them ‘smarter’. However, the actual definition of smart cities is not very clear. Some focus on sustainable development, some on technological innovation and others on the people who live there and their experience. Key seems to be that smart cities are sustainable, driven by the needs of the people who live there. To realize this, technology seems to be indispensable.

Smart city race to the top

In the Netherlands, several cities are working on their smart transformation. Already back in 2009 Amsterdam launched a smart city platform, bundling innovative projects. For Amsterdam, realizing carbon neutrality is an important topic and they are working hard towards reaching this goal by 2040. This year, the roof of the Amsterdam Johan Cruyff Arena was covered in solar panels and the energy will be stored in batteries, which significantly contributes to Amsterdams’ ambitions. Together with top Dutch universities, the city is researching self-driving vehicles, mobility management and sustainable energy. The city even appointed a Chief Technology Officer to further their transformation.

The second fastest growing city in the Netherlands is Utrecht. Their smart city focus is mainly on health, under the umbrella of ‘healthy urban living’. Their aim is to keep the city livable, even with the fast growth. Besides the focus on health, Utrecht is also the city with the most smart grids and the home of solarcharging and the city is heavily investing in making the city smarter through data.

The ‘brains’ of Chinese cities

One thing is clear: there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to smart cities. Every city faces its own challenges and requires a different smart solution. This is also clear in the approach of the Chinese government in creating smart cities. In Beijing for instance, the focus is ‘smart economy’, while for Hangzhou the focus is on the ‘Internet of Things’ and Guangzhou is focusing on ‘intelligent traffic’. Also, completely new smart cities are being constructed, such as Xiong’an. This former village near Beijing is being completely transformed and made smart from the start.

At present, there are about 500 smart cities in China that are being piloted. The market size over 650 billion yuan, with which the Chinese are investing more than any other country in the world. The Chinese smart cities are mainly concentrated in the major economic regions Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta.

Combining smart city expertise

The Dutch approach to smart cities is very much a bottom-up approach. Local initiatives are piloted and together with citizens and companies cities work towards their smart ambitions. Meanwhile in China the approach is very much top down, and local governments are heavily investing and promoting a quick transformation. Both ways of working towards smart cities are very different but when combined may amplify each other.

Designing a truly smart city is about connecting all the pieces of a complicated puzzle. Together, countries can add their pieces to a global puzzle. For instance, while the Dutch have a lot of expertise in the field of smart water management and smart charging, China has a lot of expertise in the field of big data and high tech.

After all, the challenges to which smart cities may be the answer are global. How do we create attractive places to live? How do we make our cities future proof? How do we use big data but protect privacy? By combining expertise of different countries, the smart cities of the future might be closer than we think.

source:  - July 30th, 2018


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16 juillet 2018

In Helsinki, the smart city up to citizen

In terms of urban development, the Finnish capital has found its way between the all-technological and the all-participative.

Surrounded by the calm waters of the Gulf of Finland, architecturally contemporary brick buildings rise block after block into a crane sky over the ancient port of Sörnäinen. The Kalasatama district ("fishing port" in Finnish) is one of Helsinki's major urban developments. Nothing futuristic at first sight, yet this operation of 175 hectares is one of the most interesting attempts in Europe to give substance to the nebulous concept of smart city. "We have chosen Kalasatama as a field of experimentation, a platform for cooperation and innovation for the city, economic actors and citizens," says Anni Sinnemäki, the deputy (ecologist) to the Mayor of Helsinki in charge of the urbanism. The innovations that work in Kalasatama, we will spread elsewhere. "

The Finnish capital must solve a delicate equation: in September 2017, the municipality set the goal of achieving carbon neutrality in 2035, even though its population is expected to jump from 640,000 residents today to 780,000 in 2035. "We want to build housing for everyone, but to achieve our climate goals we must think in terms of smart city, paying attention to the social aspect and not just to technological innovation," says Sinnemäki.

"Public-private-population partnership"

The district summons the heavy artillery of the sustainable city. Kalasatama is served by the metro, and several tram lines are under study. All buildings have the obligation to connect to the urban heating and air conditioning network powered by huge heat pumps recovering energy from the city's wastewater. The Katri Vala underground power plant, buried in a cave dug into the rock close to Kalasatama, is the largest of its kind in the world. Buildings must also integrate a smart grid ("smart grid"), which will pool the electricity produced and consumed by the million square meters of housing and 390,000 m2 of offices. The requirements for energy efficiency are drastic, buildings must produce 30% of their energy this year and rise quickly in power: Kalasatama wants to show a neutral energy balance in 2030, when 25 000 inhabitants and 10 000 employees will populate the neighborhood ...

But the most interesting is not there. "We do not just want to save energy: we want to focus on the human, the quality of life, the uses, create a spirit of community," says Veera Mustonen. The young woman works for the Forum Virium, the innovation department of the city of Helsinki, a cell of 35 people set up by the municipality to accelerate the implementation of the smart city. "This is a public-private-population partnership: we are here to support large groups, start-ups, facilitate their experiments, connect them with City departments, research centers, but always include citizens, who are co-creators and testers of all innovations, "she explains.

The main idea: the smart city must save one hour per day for everyone. "When companies come to us with an idea or a product, we always ask them how it will free up people's time," says Veera Mustonen. Kalasatama wants to embody a "third way" of the smart city, between the all-technological - sensors and Big Brother - and the "all-talk" without action on the ground. "Cities like Copenhagen have set up a big data platform without thinking about the uses, it's a failure," says Veera Mustonen.

To guarantee the social utility of the innovations, the inhabitants are put to contribution. Three thousand people are already living in Kalasatama, 2,000 more will join them in the coming year. The Virium Forum multiplies the workshops between all the actors to bring back ideas and reactions. A thousand inhabitants have already taken part in about twenty pilot programs for two years, to test in real conditions solutions proposed by start-ups: application of energy management, platform for sharing food for avoid wasting, sports coaching application, electric car sharing, connected ring to monitor the tension ... all subjects are possible. "The participation of the inhabitants is also an issue of education for citizenship and democracy, it is important for the future functioning of the neighborhood and the city," argues Veera Mustonen.
Community spirit
This place left to the citizens invites itself into the construction program. Each block combines all types of housing around hearts of islands whose gardens and children's games are open to everyone, far from the French passion for grills and fences. Above all, the city subtracts part of the plots from the appetite of the promoters and reserves them to co-operatives of inhabitants so that they conceive and build their own project. Half a dozen of them are already built or under study, sometimes pushing the community spirit away. Marjut Helminem can testify to this. This former journalist and still writer lives since 2015 in the Kotisatama seniors' residence, entirely designed by the 80 residents of its 63 apartments.
"We worked for four years defining common areas and apartments with an architect," she says. Here, there is no director or employees, it is not a retirement home! The inhabitants, organized in teams, do everything themselves in turn: prepare meals for everyone in a professional kitchen, maintain and clean the common areas: the refectory, a large library, shared offices, a laundry room collective, a bed and breakfast, not to mention, on the roof, lounges, terraces and the inevitable saunas. "It's a lot of work, a lot of sometimes frustrating discussions to come up with collective decisions, but it's also great to get involved and keep learning," says Helminem.
Sharing economics

Connected to the neighborhood by a digital screen and shared tablets, residents of Kotisatama take part in Kalasatama experiments. Like patients and doctors at the ultramodern health center opened in February. As are the parents of the neighboring school, whose innovative teaching methods attract visitors from around the world and which is essential, with its colorful architecture, as the heart of the neighborhood. The chairman of the school board, Juhana Harju, a public affairs consultant, also heads the Kalasatama Residents' Association. "Parents 'and residents' associations are essential to building community and neighborhood design," he says. The smart city must be integrated services in everyday life, it must not be intrusive and not ask too much learning, the technology must remain in the background. "
Among these high-value and low-tech services, the municipality wants to generalize in Kalasatama a sharing economy applied to public and private spaces, thanks to digital key systems and smartphone applications: all car parks are accessible non-resident users to accommodate pooled and shared electric vehicles; residential buildings have on the ground floor coworking spaces, common kitchens, multipurpose rooms that can be booked and rented, for an hour or a day. The system could be extended to public facilities, such as school, outside school hours. "We used to solve all the problems by pouring concrete, but in reality we must think in terms of needs and services, so sharing," says Juhana Harju.
In Kalasatama buildings will not lack. Voluntarily dense, the district sees rising day by day the very first skyscraper of Helsinki. A total of eight 20- to 37-storey towers are expected to rise above a large shopping center expected in September, a complex that provoked lively debate in the capital. "The skyscrapers are outside the historic center, and there will be enough people in Kalasatama to combine a shopping center and busy streets," says Anni Sinnemäki at City Hall. Even in Helsinki, the smart city remains a compromise.
source: Le Monde, July 6th, 2018 - by Grégoire Allix


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11 mai 2018

H&M Looks To Big Data For Store Insights

To reduce markdowns and break out of a lull in sales, H&M is turning to artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data to tailor its merchandising mix in its brick-and-mortar stores.

The fashion retailer is using algorithms to gain insights from returns, receipts and data from loyalty cards to improve its bottom lines, according to news source Retail Dive reports.

H&M is utilizing the technology in a store located in an upscale section of Stockholm, Sweden. It has so far learned that women make up most of its customer base, and that fashionable items such as floral skirts have sold at better-than-predicted rates. Sales have improved with these insights, and H&M is moving away from the idea of stocking each location with a similar selection. That strategy previously led to unsold inventory and subsequent markdowns, as the retailer needed to clear out approximately $4 billion in excess merchandise.

The brand has also announced that 2018 will feature fewer brick-and-mortar store openings as H&M moves to adapt to increasingly digital shopping patterns. The change comes after years of rapid growth from the fast-fashion giant, which now finds itself somewhat struggling to integrate into the eCommerce landscape. According to news from CNBC, H&M will only open about 220 stores in 2018, as opposed to the 388 it built in 2017. That 220 is a net number, however, and the retailer will actually be opening 390 stores and shuttering 170.

“The scale of the reduction will surprise some today,” wrote Morgan Stanley analysts Geoff Ruddell and Amy Curry, who had categorized H&M as an “underweight” back in January. “It will leave the bears questioning why H&M still enjoys a ‘growth stock’ rating.”

Other concerns for Wall Street investors include that the retailer ended 2017 with a net debt on its balance sheet — instead of net cash — for the first time in two decades. Cash flow was reportedly hurt by an uptick in stagnant inventory.

Source: on May, 10th 2018

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20 avril 2018

Smart cities need thick data, not big data

In Barcelona, high-tech data platforms generate demand for old-fashioned community development.

Residents living around Plaça del Sol joke that theirs is the only square where, despite the name, rain is preferable. Rain means fewer people gather to socialise and drink, reducing noise for the flats overlooking the square. Residents know this with considerable precision because they’ve developed a digital platform for measuring noise levels and mobilising action. I was told the joke by Remei, one of the residents who, with her ‘citizen scientist’ neighbours, are challenging assumptions about Big Data and the Smart City.

The Smart City and data sovereignty

The Smart City is an alluring prospect for many city leaders. Even if you haven’t heard of it, you may have already joined in by looking up bus movements on your phone, accessing Council services online or learning about air contamination levels. By inserting sensors across city infrastructures and creating new data sources - including citizens via their mobile devices – Smart City managers can apply Big Data analysis to monitor and anticipate urban phenomena in new ways, and, so the argument goes, efficiently manage urban activity for the benefit of ‘smart citizens’.

Barcelona has been a pioneering Smart City. The Council’s business partners have been installing sensors and opening data platforms for years. Not everyone is comfortable with this technocratic turn. After Ada Colau was elected Mayor on a mandate of democratising the city and putting citizens centre-stage, digital policy has sought to go ‘beyond the Smart City’. Chief Technology Officer Francesca Bria is opening digital platforms to greater citizen participation and oversight. Worried that the city’s knowledge was being ceded to tech vendors, the Council now promotes technological sovereignty.

On the surface, the noise project in Plaça del Sol is an example of such sovereignty. It even features in Council presentations. Look more deeply, however, and it becomes apparent that neighbourhood activists are really appropriating new technologies into the old-fashioned politics of community development.

Community developments

Plaça de Sol has always been a meeting place. But as the neighbourhood of Gràcia has changed, so the intensity and character of socialising in the square has altered. More bars, restaurants, hotels, tourists and youngsters have arrived, and Plaça del Sol’s long-standing position as venue for large, noisy groups drinking late into the night has become more entrenched. For years, resident complaints to the Council fell on deaf ears. For the Council, Gràcia signified an open, welcoming city and leisure economy. Residents I spoke with were proud of their vibrant neighbourhood. But they recalled a more convivial square, with kids playing games and families and friends socialising. Visitors attracted by Gràcia’s atmosphere also contributed to it, but residents in Plaça del Sol felt this had become a nuisance. It is a story familiar to many cities. Much urban politics turns on the negotiation of convivial uses of space.

What made Plaça del Sol stand out can be traced to a group of technology activists who got in touch with residents early in 2017. The activists were seeking participants in their project called Making Sense, which sought to resurrect a struggling ‘Smart Citizen Kit’ for environmental monitoring. The idea was to provide residents with the tools to measure noise levels, compare them with officially permissible levels, and reduce noise in the square. More than 40 neighbours signed up and installed 25 sensors on balconies and inside apartments.

The neighbours had what project coordinator Mara Balestrini from Ideas for Change calls ‘a matter of concern’. The earlier Smart Citizen Kit had begun as a technological solution looking for a problem: a crowd-funded gadget for measuring pollution, whose data users could upload to a web-platform for comparison with information from other users. Early adopters found the technology trickier to install than developers had presumed. Even successful users stopped monitoring because there was little community purpose. A new approach was needed. Noise in Plaça del Sol provided a problem for this technology fix.

Through meetings and workshops residents learnt about noise monitoring, and, importantly, activists learnt how to make technology matter for residents. The noise data they generated, unsurprisingly, exceeded norms recommended by both the World Health Organisation and municipal guidelines. Residents were codifying something already known: their square is very noisy. However, in rendering their experience into data, these citizen scientists could also compare their experience with official noise levels, refer to scientific studies about health impacts, and correlate levels to different activities in the square during the day and night.

The project decided to compare their square with other places in the city. At this point, they discovered the Council’s Sentilo Smart City platform already included a noise monitor in their square. Officials had been monitoring noise but not publicising the open data. Presented with citizen data, officials initially challenged the competence of resident monitoring, even though official data confirmed a noise problem. But as Rosa, one of the residents, said to me, “This is my data. They cannot deny it”.

Thick data

Residents were learning that data is rarely neutral. The kinds of data gathered, the methods used, how it gets interpreted, what gets overlooked, the context in which it is generated, and by whom, and what to do as a result, are all choices that shape the facts of a matter. For experts building Big Data city platforms, one sensor in one square is simply a data point. On the other side of that point, however, are residents connecting that data to life in all its richness in their square. Anthropologist Clifford Geertz argued many years ago that situations can only be made meaningful through ‘thick description’. Applied to the Smart City, this means data cannot really be explained and used without understanding the contexts in which it arises and gets used. Data can only mobilise people and change things when it becomes thick with social meaning.

Noise data in Plaça del Sol was becoming thick with social meaning. Collective data gathering proved more potent than decibel levels alone: it was simultaneously mobilising people into changing the situation. Noise was no longer an individual problem, but a collective issue. And it was no longer just noise. The data project arose through face-to-face meetings in a physical workshop space. Importantly, this meant that neighbours got to know one another better, and had reasons for discussing life in the square when they bumped into one another.

Attention turned to solutions. A citizen assembly convened in the square one weekend publicised the campaign and discuss ideas with passers-by. Some people wanted the local police to impose fines on noisy drinkers, whereas others were wary of heavy-handed approaches. Some suggested installing a children’s playground. Architects helped locals examine material changes that could dampen sound.

The Council response has been cautious. New flowerbeds along one side of the square remove steps where groups used to sit and drink. Banners and community police officers remind people to respect the neighbourhood. The Council recently announced plans for a movable playground (whose occupation of the centre of the square can be removed for events, like the Festa Major de Gràcia). Residents will be able to monitor how these interventions change noise in the square. Their demands confront an established leisure economy. As local councillor Robert Soro explained to me, convivial uses have also to address the interests of bar owners, public space managers, tourism, commerce, and others. Beyond economic issues are questions of rights to public space, young peoples’ needs to socialise, neighbouring squares worried about displaced activity, the Council’s vision for Gràcia, and of course, the residents suffering the noise.

The politics beneath Smart City platforms

For the Council, technology activists, and residents of Plaça del Sol, data alone cannot solve their issues. Data cannot transcend the lively and contradictory social worlds that it measures. If data is to act then it needs ultimately to be brought back into those generative social contexts - which, as Jordi Giró at the Catalan Confederation of Neighbourhood Associations reminds us, means cultivating people skills and political capacity. Going beyond the Smart City demands something its technocratic efficiency is supposed to make redundant: investment in old-fashioned, street-level skills in community development. Technology vendors cannot sell such skills. They are cultivated through the kinds of community activism that first brought Ada Colau to prominence, and eventually into office.

Adrian Smith, The Guardian, April 18th 2018

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