#Ethics & Privacy

Topic within Digital City
Zoë Spaaij, Project manager , posted

De komst van Artificial Intelligence, wat nu?

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Het afgelopen jaar verschenen er tal van rapporten over digitalisering en technologisering. Maar wat kunnen we daarmee in 2022? Welke lessen kunnen we trekken voor de slimme stad? Welke ideeën kunnen ons gaan inspireren in dit nieuwe smartcityjaar?

Dit soort gesprekken voer je normaal gesproken als je elkaar tegenkomt tijdens een nieuwjaarsborrel, een congres of een andere netwerkbijeenkomst. Helaas kan dit nu even niet fysiek, maar gelukkig laat het digitale ons niet in de steek. Zo kunnen we toch met elkaar nieuwe kennis delen en verspreiden.

Daarom is de Future City Foundation op zoek gegaan naar de makers en bedenkers achter de rapporten. We gaan daarom in gesprek met columnist en hoogleraar Haroon Sheikh over wat we moeten doen kunstmatige intelligentie.

Wanneer? 9 februari van 9.00 – 10.00 uur
Kosten: Gratis

MELD U NU AAN

Artificial intelligence wordt in steeds meer sectoren gebruikt, maar wat moeten we ermee? Hoe kunnen we gebruik maken van deze nieuwe technologie en tegelijkertijd de risico’s ervan beperken? Welke kansen zijn er voor gemeentes?

Dat vragen we aan Haroon Sheikh, filosoof, bijzonder hoogleraar én projectcoördinator van het rapport over AI van de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor Regeringsbeleid. Wilt u weten hoe je AI zo inzet dat het een positieve bijdrage levert aan onze samenleving en hoe je misbruik door grote bedrijven voorkomt?

Heeft u een vraag aan Haroon Sheikh? Dan kunt u deze invullen in het aanmeldformulier. (We nemen dit mee in de voorbespreking en kunnen niet garanderen dat uw vraag wordt behandeld).

MELD U NU AAN

Meer weten?

Wilt u zich alvast inlezen? Sheikh’s columns zijn regelmatig te lezen in NRC Handelsblad, zoals in dit opiniestuk met Corien Prins (voorzitter van de WRR) over kunstmatige intelligentie. Lees een van zijn columns <b>hier</b>.

Of lees alvast het rapport van de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor Regeringsbeleid <b>hier</b> over de opgaves rondom AI waarin de Raad stelt dat Nederland niet goed is voorbereid op de ontwikkelingen van AI, waardoor kansen worden gemist én risico’s niet goed worden gezien.

Online event on Mar 9th
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

10 Accessibility, software, digital infrastructure, and data. The quest for ethics

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The 10th episode in the series Better cities: The contribution of digital technology deals with the impact of ethical principles on four pillars of digitization: accessibility, software, infrastructure and data.

In the previous episode, I discussed design principles - guidelines and values - for digital technology. The report of the Rathenau Instituut Opwaarderen - Borgen van publieke waarden in de digitale samenleving concludes that government, industry, and society are still insufficiently using these principles. Below, I will consider their impact on four pillars of digitization: accessibility, software, infrastructure, and data. The next episodes will be focused on their impact on frequently used technologies.

Accessibility

Accessibility refers to the availability of high-speed Internet for everyone. This goes beyond just technical access. It also means that a municipality ensures that digital content is understandable and that citizens can use the options offered. Finally, everyone should have a working computer.

Free and safe Internet for all residents is a valuable amenity, including Wi-Fi in public areas. Leaving the latter to private providers such as the LinkNYC advertising kiosks in New York, which are popping up in other cities as well, is a bad thing. Companies such as Sidewalk Labs tempt municipalities by installing these kiosks for free. They are equipped with sensors that collect a huge amount of data from every device that connects to the Wi-Fi network: Not only the location and the operating system, but also the MAC address. With the help of analytical techniques, the route taken can be reconstructed. Combined with other public data from Facebook or Google, they provide insight into personal interests, sexual orientation, race, and political opinion of visitors.

The huge internet that connects everything and everyone also raises specters, which have to do with privacy-related uncertainty and forms of abuse, which appeared to include hacking of equipment that regulates your heartbeat.

That is why there is a wide search for alternatives. Worldwide, P2P neighborhood initiatives occur for a private network. Many of these are part of The Things Network. Instead of Wi-Fi, this network uses a protocol called LoRaWAN. Robust end-to-end encryption means that users don't have to worry about secure wireless hotspots, mobile data plans, or faltering Wi-Fi connectivity. The Things Network manages thousands of gateways and provides coverage to millions of people and a suite of open tools that enable citizens and entrepreneurs to build IoT applications at a low cost, with maximum security and that are easy to scale.

Software

Computer programs provide diverse applications, ranging from word processing to management systems. Looking for solutions that best fit the guidelines and ethical principles mentioned in the former episode, we quickly arrive at open-source software, as opposed to proprietary products from commercial providers. Not that the latter are objectionable in advance or that they are always more expensive. The most important thing to pay attention to is interchangeability (interoperability) with products from other providers to prevent you cannot get rid of them (lock in).

Open-source software offers advantages over proprietary solutions, especially if municipalities encourage city-wide use. Barcelona is leading the way in this regard. The city aims to fully self-manage its ICT services and radically improve digital public services, including privacy by design. This results in data sovereignty and in the use of free software, open data formats, open standards, interoperability and reusable applications and services.

Anyone looking for open-source software cannot ignore the Fiwarecommunity, which is similar in organization to Linux and consists of companies, start-ups and freelance developers and originated from an initiative of the EU. Fiware is providing open and sustainable software around public, royalty-free and implementation-driven standards.

Infrastructure

Computers are no longer the largest group of components of the digital infrastructure. Their number has been surpassed by so-called ubiquitous sensor networks (USN), such as smart meters, CCTV, microphones, and sensors. Sensor networks have the most diverse tasks, they monitor the environment (air quality, traffic density, unwanted visitors) and they are in machines, trains, and cars and even in people to transmit information about the functioning of vital components. Mike Matson calculated that by 2050 a city of 2 million inhabitants will have as many as a billion sensors, all connected by millions of kilometers of fiber optic cable or via Wi-Fi with data centers, carrier hotels (nodes where private networks converge) to eventually the Internet.

This hierarchically organized cross-linking is at odds with the guidelines and ethical principles formulated in the previous post. Internet criminals are given free rein and data breaches can spread like wildfires, like denial of service (DoS). In addition, the energy consumption is enormous, apart from blockchain. Edge computing is a viable alternative. The processing of the data is done locally and only results are uploaded on demand. This applies to sensors, mobile phones and possibly automated cars as well. A good example is the Array of Things Initiative. Ultimately, this will include 500 sensors, which will be installed in consultation with the population in Chicago. Their data is stored in each sensor apart and can be consulted online, if necessary, always involving several sensors and part of the data. Federated data systems are comparable. Data is stored in a decentralized way, but authorized users can use all data thanks to user interfaces.

Data

There is a growing realization that when it comes to data, not only quantity, but also quality counts. I will highlight some aspects.

Access to data
Personal data should only be available with permission from the owner. To protect this data, the EU project Decode proposes that owners can manage their data via blockchain technology. Many cities now have privacy guidelines, but only a few conduct privacy impact assessments as part of its data policy (p.18).

Quality
There is growing evidence that much of the data used in artificial intelligence as “learning sets” is flawed. This had already become painfully clear from facial recognition data in which minority groups are disproportionately represented. New research shows that this is also true in the field of healthcare. This involves data cascades, a sum of successive errors, the consequences of which only become clear after some time. Data turned out to be irrelevant, incomplete, incomparable, and even manipulated.

Data commons
Those for whom high-quality data is of great importance will pay extra attention to its collection. In. this case, initiating a data common is a godsend. Commons are shared resources managed by empowered communities based on mutually agreed and enforced rules. An example is the Data and Knowledge Hub for Healthy Urban Living (p.152), in which governments, companies, environmental groups and residents collect data for the development of a healthy living environment, using a federated data system. These groups are not only interested in the data, but also in the impact of its application.

Open date
Many cities apply the 'open by default' principle and make most of the data public, although the user-friendliness and efficiency sometimes leave something to be desired. Various data management systems are available as an open-source portal. One of the most prominent ones is CKAN, administered by the Open Knowledge Foundation. It contains tools for managing, publishing, finding, using, and sharing data collections. It offers an extensive search function and allows the possibility to view data in the form of maps, graphs, and tables. There is an active community of users who continue to develop the system and adapt it locally.

To make the data accessible, some cities also offer training courses and workshops. Barcelona's Open Data Challenge is an initiative for secondary school students that introduces them to the city's vast dat collection.

Safety
As the size of the collected data, the amount of entry points and the connectivity on the Internet increase, the security risks also become more severe. Decentralization, through edge computing and federated storage with blockchain technology, certainly contribute to security. But there is still a long way to go. Only half of the cities has a senior policy officer in this area. Techniques for authentication, encryption and signing that together form the basis for attribute-based identity are applied only incidentally. This involves determining identity based on several characteristics of a user, such as function and location. Something completely different is Me and my shadow, a project that teaches Internet users to minimize their own trail and thus their visibility to Internet criminality.

There is still a world to win before the guidelines and ethical principles mentioned in the previous episode are sufficiently met. I emphasize again not to over-accentuate concepts such as 'big data', 'data-oriented policy' and the size of data sets. Instead, it is advisable to re-examine the foundations of scientific research. First and foremost is knowledge of the domain (1), resulting in research questions (2), followed by the choice of an appropriate research method (3), defining the type of data to be collected (4), the collection of these data (5), and finally their statistical processing to find evidence for substantiated hypothetical connections (6). The discussion of machine learning in the next episode will reveal that automatic processing of large data sets is mainly about discovering statistical connections, and that can have dire consequences.

Follow the link below to find one of the previous episodes or see which episodes are next, and this one for the Dutch version.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #DigitalCity
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Some of the most inspiring projects of 2021 during our 14th Demoday!

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On December 14 2021, we had a very special demo day. Of course, it was the last of the year. As the Amsterdam Smart City core team, we are very proud of all the collaborations our partners and community started and that's why we wanted to highlight a few of them. To give the demoday a typical Christmas vibe, the pitchers had a 'gift' for the participants: their lessons learned that everyone could benefit from. And the participants had a gift in return: answers to the questions of the pitchers. In short, a demo day with new projects, questioning and sharing insights!

Responsible Sensing Lab and Drones
Hidde Kamst of the City of Amsterdam tells the participants about the Responsible Sensing Lab, a collaboration between the municipality and AMS Institute. This Lab works on the implementation of (social) values in technology in the city. Cameras and sensors in public space can put values such as privacy and anonymity under pressure. The Responsible Sensing Lab researches and designs alternatives. This also applies to the subject of Responsible Drones. A group of civil servants, companies and knowledge institutions worked on a vision on the responsible use of drones. The subjects 'proportionality', 'communications' and 'rules of the game' were discussed.

Hidde’s lessons learned: behind the scenes there are many parties working on drones, but the involvement of residents and civil society is low. It is important to change this because drones can have a big impact on our society. In addition, it is a complex topic where more research is needed. Hidde's request for help 'How do you convey the urgency of a subject that is important, but not yet urgent?' was very recognizable for the participants. A selection of their ideas: repeat the urgency over and over again, visualize the urgency, use storytelling and name the risks.

Shuttercam and Measuring Public Space
Pitch 2 had a big link with Hidde's story. Tom van Arman does various sensing projects on the Marineterrein, also covered by the Responsible Sensing Lab. An example is the Shuttercam, a camera that citizens can put on or off. In this way they can have an influence on the technology in the city. We start Tom's pitch with a question to the participants. Do they find it important that we measure a lot and collect data to improve the city or would they rather see more privacy for residents? A question that provokes discussion.

Tom has been engaged in measuring and testing in the public space for years, with an important role for public values. That's why he learned a lot of lessons: make sure you take the time to get legislation in order, take vandalism into account, do everything you can to make your work understandable for citizens. And a very nice one to remember: a hot camera attracts many insects. They block the image or get into the devices. One of the best tips he got from the participants: let passers-by write down what they see. That way you can get great feedback.

Braking energy and Pilot OV E-hub
André Simonse from Firan (Alliander) introduced us to the 'braking energy' issue, or as it is now is called: the OV E-hub pilot. This started as a search with partners such as AMS Institute, Arcadis, the City of Amsterdam, the
VRA and Alliander. Now the process evolved into a collaboration between Strukton Rail, Hedgehog Applications and Firan. Big cities can no longer cope with the increasing demand for sustainable energy. This makes it more difficult to access mobility hubs, such as stations, to provide electricity. It is therefore important to use existing energy smartly.

The lessons learned in this pitch were about taking action. Although talking is important for ideation and understanding and trusting each other, the art is to work together on a targeted plan for implementation. André's request for help was on how to organize political support. Willem from the City of Amsterdam wants to be part of the initiative and can help to achieve official support.

Social side of hubs
Willem van Heijningen of the City of Amsterdam took the floor to tell us more about its hub mission. A hub can organize mobility in an effective way. Together with others, he is looking how Q-park Europarking in the center of Amsterdam can be transformed to a hub. Think of shared mobility, charging cars and logistics, while preserving the monumental character of the city. Hearing the word ‘hub’, many people will think of a place to connect different forms of mobility. But it is also about energy. At some point, vehicles, vessels or even drones will come by. Since we want to get rid of fossil fuels, a hub will also become the place where these forms of mobility are charged. The success or failure of hubs is all in the hands of people. It depends on their behavior whether hubs will be useful. Until now, they have got too little attention. T

his is where Willem could use some help: What is needed to bring the social aspect of hubs further? How does the hub prove its effectiveness towards humans? A selection of the answers from the group: investigating the needs of the residents, connect with existing social initiatives in the city, involve local entrepreneurs.

ArenAPoort LIFE
Else Veldman and Hans Roeland Poolman from AMS Institute took us on a tour to their Southeast Energy Lab. This is a collaboration to accelerate sustainability in the southeast of Amsterdam through practical research, meetings and concrete projects. One of the current projects is the LIFE project, an open platform to plan energy supply and demand in a smarter, inclusive way. An enormous ambition that is driven by partners such as Johan Cruijff ArenA, Alliander, Spectral, CoForce and the Utrecht University. AMS Institute is committed to ensuring this platform is not only a technical contribution to the energy transition, but also provides social value to the inhabitants of South-East.

Hans and Else asked the network to think about the latter. The result was a tidal wave of tips to involve residents: co-develop communication strategies such as storytelling and visualization, pay attention to the result, the dream, show what it means to participate in the process, and above all, invest time.

New narrative for the energy transition
The last pitch was about the New Narrative where Kennisland and What Design Can Do on behalf of RES Noord-Holland have been working on. Dave van Loon from Kennisland told us that a new story about the energy transition is being developed to move away from the negative image, people's concerns and to give a new impulse to the energy transition. This narrative is based on a design thinking process. Subsequently, the organizations developed building blocks to focus on:

  1. a shared sense of urgency
  2. a positive future perspective
  3. inspiration by concrete and recognizable examples and success stories
  4. a sense of pride
  5. a way to take of action

Dave's request for help was for a reflection on this process. And the reactions were praising. On the one hand, the feedback focused on how to make the story as concrete as possible for the target groups and on the other hand on reaching the masses, while incorporating those who are left behind.

The next demoday will take in place in February or March. Do you have a nice story to tell or would you like to join as audience? You are more than welcome! Drop a line below to let us know!

Amsterdam Smart City's picture #Energy
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

Policy guidelines and ethical principles for digital technology

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The 9th episode of the series Building sustainable cities: the contribution of digital technology deals with guidelines and related ethical principles that apply to the design and application of digital technology.

One thing that keeps me awake at night is the speed at which artificial intelligence is developing and the lack of rules for its development and application said Aleksandra Mojsilović, director of IBM Science for Social Good. The European Union has a strong focus on regulations to ensure that technology is people-oriented, ensures a fair and competitive digital economy and contributes to an open, democratic and sustainable society. This relates to more than legal frameworks, also to political choices, ethical principles, and the responsibilities of the profession. This is what this post is about.

Politicians are ultimately responsible for the development, selection, application and use of (digital) technology. In this respect, a distinction must be made between:
• Coordination of digital instruments and the vision on the development of the city.
• Drawing up policy guidelines for digitization in general.
• Recognizing related ethical principles next to these policy guidelines.
• Creating the conditions for democratic oversight of the application of digital technology.
• Make an appeal to the responsibilities of the ICT professional group.

Guidelines for digitization policy

In the previous post I emphasized that the digital agenda must result from the urban policy agenda and that digital instruments and other policy instruments must be seen in mutual relation.
Below are five additional guidelines for digitization policy formulated by the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance. 36 cities are involved in this initiative, including Apeldoorn, as the only Dutch municipality. The cities involved will elaborate these guidelines soon. In the meantime, I have listed some examples.

Equity, inclusiveness, and social impact
• Enabling every household to use the Internet.
• Making information and communication technology (ICT) and digital communication with government accessible to all, including the physically/mentally disabled, the elderly and immigrants with limited command of the local language.
• Assessing the impact of current digital technology on citizens and anticipating the future impact of this policy.
• Facilitating regular education and institutions for continuous learning to offer easily accessible programs to develop digital literacy.
• Challenging neighborhoods and community initiatives to explore the supportive role of digital devices in their communication and actions.

Security and resilience
• Developing a broadly supported vision on Internet security and its consequences.
• Mandatory compliance with rules and standards (for instance regarding IoT) to protect digital systems against cyberthreats.
• Becoming resilient regarding cybercrime by developing back-up systems that seamless take over services eventually.
• Building resilience against misuse of digital communication, especially bullying, intimidation and threats.
• Reducing the multitude of technology platforms and standards, to limit entry points for cyber attackers.

Privacy and transparency
• The right to move and stay in cities without being digitally surveilled, except in case of law enforcement with legal means.
• Establishing rules in a democratic manner for the collection of data from citizens in the public space.
• Minimalist collection of data by cities to enable services.
• Citizens' right to control their own data and to decide which ones are shared and under which circumstances.
• Using privacy impact assessment as a method for identifying, evaluating, and addressing privacy risks by companies, organizations, and the city itself.

Openness and interoperability
• Providing depersonalized data from as many as possible organizations to citizens and organizations as a reliable evidence base to support policy and to create open markets for interchangeable technology.
• Public registration of devices, their ownership, and their aim.
• Choosing adequate data architecture, including standards, agreements, and norms to enable reuse of digital technology and to avoid lock-ins.

Operational and financial sustainability
• Ensuring a safe and well-functioning Internet
• The coordinated approach ('dig once') of constructing and maintenance of digital infrastructure, including Wi-Fi, wired technologies and Internet of Things (IoT).
• Exploring first, whether the city can develop and manage required technology by itself, before turning to commercial parties.
• Cities, companies, and knowledge institutions share data and cooperate in a precompetitive way at innovations for mutual benefit.
• Digital solutions are feasible: Results are achieved within an agreed time, with an agreed budget.

Ethical Principles

The guidelines formulated above partly converge with the ethical principles that underlie digitization according to the Rathenau Institute. Below, I will summarize these principles.

Privacy
• Citizens' right to dispose of their own (digital) data, collected by the government, companies and other organizations.
• Limitation of the data to be collected to those are functionally necessary (privacy by design), which also prevents improper use.
• Data collection in the domestic environment only after personal permission and in the public environment only after consent by the municipal council.

Autonomy
• The right to decide about information to be received.
• The right to reject or consent to independent decision making by digital devices in the home.
• No filtering of information except in case of instructions by democratically elected bodies.

Safety
• Ensuring protection of personal data and against identity theft through encryption and biometric recognition.
• Preventing unwanted manipulation of devices by unauthorized persons.
• Providing adequate warnings against risks by providers of virtual reality software.
• Securing exchange of data

Public oversight
• Ensuring public participation in policy development related to digitization
• Providing transparency of decision-making through algorithms and opportunity to influence these decisions by human interventions.
• Decisions taken by autonomous systems always include an explanation of the underlying considerations and provide the option to appeal against this decision.

Human dignity
• Using robotics technology mainly in routinely, dangerous, and dirty work, preferably under supervision of human actors.
• Informing human actors collaborating with robots of the foundations of their operation and the possibilities to influence them.

Justice
• Ensuring equal opportunities, accessibility, and benefits for all when applying digital systems
• If autonomous systems are used to assess personal situations, the result is always checked for its fairness, certainty, and comprehensibility for the receiving party.
• In the case of autonomous analysis of human behavior, the motives on which an assessment has taken place can be checked by human intervention.
• Employees in the gig economy have an employment contract or an income as self-employed in accordance with legal standards.

Power relations
• The possibility of updating software if equipment still is usable, even if certain functionalities are no longer available.
• Companies may not use their monopoly position to antagonize other companies.
• Ensuring equal opportunities, accessibility, and benefits for all when applying digital systems.

The above guidelines and ethical principles partly overlap. Nevertheless, I have not combined them as they represent different frames of reference that are often referred to separately. The principles for digitization policy are particularly suitable for the assessment of digitization policy. The ethical principles are especially useful when assessing different technologies. That is why I will  use the latter in the following episodes.
In discussing the digitalization strategy of Amsterdam and other municipalities in later episodes, I will use a composite list of criteria, based on both the above guidelines and ethical principles. This list, titled 'Principles for a socially responsible digitization policy' can already be viewed HERE.

Democratic oversight

Currently, many municipalities still lack sufficient competencies to supervise the implementation and application of the guidelines and principles mentioned above. Moreover, they are involved as a party themselves. Therefore, setting up an independent advisory body for this purpose is desirable. In the US, almost every city now has a committee for public oversight of digitization. These committees are strongly focused on the role of the police, in particular practices related to facial recognition and predictive policing.
Several cities in the Netherlands have installed an ethics committee. A good initiative. I would also have such a committee supervise the aforementioned policy guidelines and not just the ethical principles. According to Bart Wernaart, lecturer in Moral Design Strategy at Fontys University of applied sciences, such a committee must be involved in digitization policy at an early stage, and it should also learn from mistakes in the field of digitization in the past.
The latter is especially necessary because, as the Dutch Data Protection Authority writes, the identity of an ethically responsible city is, is not set in stone. The best way to connect ethical principles and practice is to debate and questions the implications of policy in practice.

Experts’ own responsibility

A mature professional group has its own ethical principles, is monitoring their implementation, and sanctioning discordant members. In this respect, the medical world is most advanced. As far as I know, the ICT profession has not yet formulated its own ethical principles. This has been done, for example, by the Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) in the field of artificial intelligence. Sarah HamidData scientists are generally concerned more with the abstract score metric of their models than the direct and indirect impact it can have on the world. However, experts often understand the unforeseen implications of government policy earlier than politicians. Hamid addresses the implications for professional action: If computer scientists really hoped to make a positive impact on the world, then they would need to start asking better questions. The road to technology implementation by governments is paved with failures. Professionals have often seen this coming, but have rarely warned, afraid of losing an assignment. Self-confident professionals must therefore say 'no' much more often to a job description. Hamid: Refusal is an essential practice for anyone who hopes to design sociotechnical systems in the service of justice and the public good. This even might result in a better relationship with the client and more successful projects.

Establishing policy guidelines and ethical principles for municipal digitization requires a critical municipal council and an ethics committee with relevant expertise. But it also needs professionals who carry out the assignment and enter the debate if necessary.

The link below opens a preliminary overview of the already published and upcoming articles in the series Building sustainable cities: the contribution of digital technology. Click HERE for the Dutch version.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #DigitalCity
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Vacancy: Community manager & Program officer Digital at Amsterdam Smart City (in Dutch)-CLOSED

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Ben jij expert op gebied van online community management? Wil jij onze on- en offline community laten groeien en meer betrokken maken? En wil je bijdragen aan het versnellen van de transities op het gebied van mobiliteit, energie, circulaire economie en verantwoorde digitalisering?

Kom dan het Amsterdam Smart City team versterken!

Gezocht: Community manager & Programmamedewerker Digitaal - Amsterdam Smart City (32-40 uur p/w)

Wie zijn wij?
Amsterdam Smart City is een onafhankelijk innovatieplatform dat innovatieve bedrijven, kennisinstellingen, overheden en proactieve bewoners samenbrengt en vorm geeft aan de stad en regio van de toekomst.

Wij zijn ervan overtuigd dat de veranderingen die nodig zijn voor vooruitgang alleen gerealiseerd kunnen worden door samen te werken. Al onze activiteiten zijn daarom gericht op het faciliteren van ontmoeting, interactie en samenwerking, zodat partijen samen tastbare, duurzame innovaties tot stand kunnen brengen. Amsterdam Smart City richt zich met name op de vier thema’s mobiliteit, de digitale stad, energie en circulaire economie.

Het Amsterdam Smart City team zorgt voor verbinding. We brengen partners en partijen bij elkaar, zorgen voor waardegedreven innovaties, op een creatieve manier. Het team bestaat uit zes teamleden, die vanuit hun eigen taakgebied nauw met elkaar én met onze partners samenwerken. Eén van onze pijlers daarin is onze (inter)nationale community. De leden van onze community ontmoeten elkaar, zowel offline als online, op ons platform www.amsterdamsmartcity.com.

Wat ga je doen?
Je zet je in op het community management, met een focus op het nog verder versterken van de synergie tussen de community en de activiteiten van onze partners. Je maakt gebruik van data om mogelijkheden voor groei en ontwikkeling van het platform te identificeren. Daarnaast werk je met onze partners aan het aanjagen van innovaties binnen het Transitiepad Digitaal. Binnen dit Transitiepad werken onze partners samen aan verantwoorde digitalisering, met als doel het maken van leefbare straten en steden. Je ondersteunt hun processen en legt ook daar verbindingen met de community.

Taken
• Je ontwikkelt de community strategie en vertaalt deze naar community doelstellingen.
• Je slaat een brug tussen de (online/offline) community en partners.
• Je zorgt voor een inhoudelijk relevant en technisch goed functionerend online platform dat de community verbindt en aanjaagt.
• Je stuurt het bureau aan dat de website beheert.
• Je ontwikkelt het publieke evenementenplan; bijeenkomsten waarmee we onze community en partners activeren en verbinden. Je zorgt voor de uitvoering hiervan, samen met anderen.
• Je coördineert een eigen transitiepad en monitort de voortgang van projecten binnen dit transitiepad.
• Je verbindt, mobiliseert en activeert partners tot het ontplooien van activiteiten en deelname aan partnerevenementen.

Profiel
• WO/HBO werk- en denkniveau.
• Minimaal 3 jaar ervaring met community management en met de ontwikkeling en het beheer van websites.
• Kennis van en ruime ervaring met diverse communicatiemiddelen on- en offline.
• Ervaring met het organiseren van publieke evenementen.
• Uitstekende beheersing van de Nederlandse en Engelse taal in woord en geschrift.
• Een nieuwsgierige en enthousiaste instelling die anderen aanzet tot actie.
• Initiatiefrijk en resultaatgericht.
• Werkt graag samen met een team en met externe stakeholders.
• Affiniteit met stedelijke ontwikkeling, technologie, innovatie en duurzaamheid.

Wat bieden wij?
Wij bieden je een fijne werkplek op het Marineterrein in Amsterdam, met een informele en collegiale sfeer. Op dit moment werken we uiteraard veel thuis. We zijn een klein team (6 personen) dat nauw met elkaar samenwerkt. Daarnaast werken we intensief samen met een groep gedreven mensen die zich inzetten voor een duurzame stad en regio, voor iedereen. Het is een regionale, nationale én internationale werkomgeving waarin je eigen inbreng en proactiviteit zeer gewaardeerd worden.

Het betreft een functie voor 32-40 uur per week. De startdatum is idealiter 1 februari a.s. Je start met een dienstverband voor de periode van een jaar met uitzicht op vaste verlenging. We hanteren een bruto startsalaris van 3.950 tot max 4.285,32 euro bij een 40urige werkweek.

Interesse gewekt?
Vind je dit goed klinken? Dan horen we graag van je! Stuur je CV en een korte motivatie voor 10 januari 2022 naar: info@amsterdamsmartcity.com. Als we je uitnodigen voor een gesprek, zal dit plaatsvinden op 17 januari a.s. De tweede gespreksronde staat gepland op 21 januari a.s.

Hopelijk spreken we elkaar snel!

Amsterdam Smart City's picture #DigitalCity
Giovanni Stijnen, Senior program & business developer at NEMO Kennislink, posted

The Art of Zoom

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The Art of Zoom

NEMO Kennislink nodigt je uit voor een Zoom meeting

In The Art of Zoom nemen vier experts je mee in de invloed van videobellen op de toekomst en nu. Hoe verhoud je jezelf tot jezelf op een beeldscherm? Welke signalen mist je talking head nu de rest van ons lichaam letterlijk uit beeld verdwijnt? En hoe beïnvloeden de knoppen die we op ons scherm zien, de knoppen die onze samenleving sturen? Log in in deze theatrale Zoom meeting en verken met ons de impact van digitaal samenzijn. You’re invited!

Meld je direct aan voor het event: https://lnkd.in/ec4pP722

The Art of Zoom is het sluitstuk in het Human Zoo(m) project waarin we onderzochten hoe een nieuwe werkelijkheid ontstond via de schermen van Zoom, Teams en jitsi. Project Human Zoo(m) https://lnkd.in/eKWFBBTN

Giovanni Stijnen's picture Online event on Jan 17th
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

6. The Boston Smart City Playbook

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This is the sixth episode of the Better Cities; The Contribution of Digital Technology series. It is about the expectations of the Majors Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM) in Boston from representatives of tech companies crowding its doors to sell turnkey "smart" solutions. The Dutch versions of the published posts in this series are here.

Jascha Franklin-Hodge, former head of MONUM, recalls meeting representatives of a Fortune 500 technology company that had tendered to equip all the city's lampposts with cameras and sensors. When asked if this equipment had already proven its worth elsewhere, the answer was that the company would appreciate Boston investigating it. It goes without saying that the city has resolutely rejected this 'offer'. It was one of many exhausting encounters with eager salespeople offering 'promising' technological solutions, with limited knowledge of urban problems. As a result, Franklin-Hodge and his colleague Nigel Jacob decided to incorporate the feedback normally given to these people into a document that they could share with companies. This became the famous Boston Smart City Playbook, with the primary purpose of propagating Boston's intent to develop technology that is responsible, people-centric and problem-driven.

Below I go through the book, paraphrasing (italics) and commenting on each chapter

Stop sending salespeople

The introduction to the booklet sighs, send us someone who knows about cities, someone who wants to talk to the residents about what they like (and don't like!) about Boston. The MONUM team appreciates when technologists come to talk about topics that matter rather than fire well well-prepared pitches. Shared understanding of urban problems and the nature of their solution is the only way to establish a long-term relationship between the company and the city. The team announces to ask examples of how the product has worked or failed elsewhere.

In addition, I believe that representatives of technology companies who believe that a vendor’s pitch will do, sometimes forget that their interlocutors are technologists too, who are often better educated than themselves. However, civil servants often lack knowledge of successful examples from elsewhere, therefore they sincerely hope that representatives of a technology company can provide these. Unfortunately, that rarely turns out to be the case. The best solution is pre-competitive triple-helix collaboration between representatives of municipalities, knowledge institutions and companies. Together they can compensate for each other's knowledge gaps.

Solving real problems for people

Municipal employees often feel that their colleagues from companies lack involvement and knowledge about the concerns of ordinary people. That's why the Playbook expects them to talk to workers, unemployed, entrepreneurs, artists, citizen groups, advocacy groups and architects before visiting MONUM. The team would like to know what companies have learned during this conversation and especially why their products will make a difference.

Such an assignment is not easy. Citizens are easy to speak out about their problems and come up with solutions too. These solutions rarely have a technological component. The tech companies itself must build bridges and ask citizens for their opinion. Even citizens they don't see the value of the proposed technologies, city councils can still be confident in their long-term value.

Don't worship efficiency

Efficiency must be part of the solution to any problem, as cities have finite resources and infinite needs. However, efficiency is never a motive in the phase in which alternative choices are weighed up. Once a choice has been made, the next step is to implement it as efficiently as possible.
Talking prematurely about efficiency often results from ignoring underlying political positions. The question is always: Efficient on the basis of which criteria, for what purposes and in whose interest? As Ben Green wrote in ''The smart enough city' (p. 14): For those on the front lines, words like “better” and “more efficient” are the tip of an iceberg, below which sit the competing interests and conflicting values of the city and the people who live in it. In my opinion, the same applies to the misuse of the adjective 'smart'.

To become a competent partner, representatives of tech companies must not only be familiar with urban problems, but also with current political debates and the mission of mayor and aldermen. Anyone who mentions arguments such as 'cost savings' and 'efficiency gains' as main motives in the discussion about technological solutions for urban problems will immediately be questioned about the real benefits and for whom.

Better decisions, not (just) better data

The price for the purchase of technology must be paid immediately. Often a city can only reap its benefits in the future. The problem is that the success of the technology acquired will depend at least as much on how it is applied. This in turn depends on the behavior of the people involved. The often have to adapt themselves and targeted management is required to bring about behavioral change. Technological innovation usually goes hand in hand with social innovation or at least behavioral change. This could be, for example, breaking through silos between departments whose data must be shared. In essence, the quality of the data depends on its ability to improve decisions. Better decisions, in turn, should pay off in greater satisfaction for all stakeholders involved.

In my opinion, representatives of tech companies do not think enough about the 'soft side' of implementing technological change. In addition, they neglect after-sales contacts, which can provide them with valuable information about the impact of organizational conditions on technological innovation.

Platforms make us go ¯\_(**ツ)_/¯

In 2015, Ross Atkin, a critic of smart cities, wrote his Manifesto for the clever city. In the 'clever city', technology is used radically bottom-up to solve the problems that ordinary citizens experience with as little data as possible and in a way that citizens can understand. In the smart city, 'platforms' are often proposed as networks of sensors that collect huge amounts of data because they can potentially be used to solve problems. But many problems that affect people, such as pollution, stench and particulate matter, have been known for years, as have their causes: factories, heavy traffic and unhealthy homes. Installing a sensor network delays the resolution of these problems and is at the expense of it.

Moreover, because of vendor lock-in municipalities risk being stuck for years to solutions that companies have developed, as long as there are no standards or there is no guarantee of interoperability. Representatives of technology companies should be asked what they believe to be the cheapest solution for collecting critical data and what the interoperability of this solution is.

Towards a "public" privacy policy

Police monitor video cameras throughout the city and transit companies use GPS trackers to detect the location of buses and trains. Since the observation of people in public space is increasing rapidly, the question is what is the bottom-line of privacy of citizens that must always be respected. Representatives of tech companies should be surveyed to make explicit the privacy risks of their technologies and whether these technologies meet data minimization requirements.

In my opinion, it is up to cities to draw up guidelines about internet safety, privacy security and data minimization, but also to make explicit which means are acceptable for crime prevention and law enforcement. The development of such guidelines is also an opportunity for pre-competitive collaboration between cities, companies, and knowledge institutions.

Ben Green, also a former member of the MONUM team and now a teacher at the Ford School of Public Policy, Michigan University, also refers to the Smart City Playbook in his work 'The smart enough city' and emphasizes that the last thing to happen is considering technology as imminent and inevitable, thus beyond dispute and deliberation (p. 7). Technology must always be justified by its proven contribution to human well-being.

Follow up

The Boston Smart City Play Book makes it clear that before they can provide 'solutions', tech companies must become familiar with urban problems, preferably through direct contact with stakeholders and citizens in particular. In addition, cities also want to be involved in the development of these technologies.
The Playbook spawned a series of research and development projects, including the Local Sense Lab, a loose group of sensor technologists developing sensors and other devices of demonstrable value to Boston residents.

Read the Boston Smart City Playbook by following the link below

Herman van den Bosch's picture #DigitalCity
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

5. Collect meaningful data and stay away from dataism

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The fifth episode of the series Better cities: The role of technology is about the sense and nonsense of big data. Data is the new oil is the worst cliché of the big data hype yet. Even worse than data-driven policy. In this article, I investigate - with digital twins as a thread - what the contribution of data can be to urban policy and how dataism, a religion that takes over policy making itself, can be prevented (must read: Harari: Homo Deus).

I am a happy user of a Sonos sound system. Nevertheless, the helpdesk must be involved occasionally. Recently, it knew within five minutes that my problem was the result of a faulty connection cable between the modem and the amplifier. As it turned out, the helpdesk was able to remotely generate a digital image of the components of my sound system and their connections and saw that the cable in question was not transmitting any signal. A simple example of a digital twin. I was happy with it. But where is the line between the sense and nonsense of collecting masses of data?

What is a digital twin.

A digital twin is a digital model of an object, product, or process. In my training as a social geographer, I had a lot to do with maps, the oldest form of 'twinning'. Maps have laid the foundation for GIS technology, which in turn is the foundation of digital twins. Geographical information systems relate data based on geographical location and provide insight into their coherence in the form of a model. If data is permanently connected to reality with the help of sensors, then the dynamics in the real world and those in the model correspond and we speak of a 'digital twin'. Such a dynamic model can be used for simulation purposes, monitoring and maintenance of machines, processes, buildings, but also for much larger-scale entities, for example the electricity grid.

From data to insight

Every scientist knows that data is indispensable, but also that there is a long way to go before data leads to knowledge and insight. That road starts even before data is collected. The first step is assumptions about the essence of reality and thus the method of knowing it. There has been a lot of discussion about this within the philosophy of science, from which two points of view have been briefly crystallized, a systems approach and a complexity approach.

The systems approach assumes that reality consists of a stable series of actions and reactions in which law-like connections can be sought. Today, almost everyone assumes that this only applies to physical and biological phenomena. Yet there is also talk of social systems. This is not a question of law-like relationships, but of generalizing assumptions about human behavior at a high level of aggregation. The homo economicus is a good example. Based on such assumptions, conclusions can be drawn about how behavior can be influenced.

The complexity approach sees (social) reality as the result of a complex adaptive process that arises from countless interactions, which - when it comes to human actions - are fed by diverse motives. In that case it will be much more difficult to make generic statements at a high level of aggregation and interventions will have a less predictable result.

Traffic models

Traffic policy is a good example to illustrate the distinction between a process and a complexity approach. Simulation using a digital twin in Chattanooga of the use of flexible lane assignment and traffic light phasing showed that congestion could be reduced by 30%. Had this experiment been carried out, the result would probably have been very different. Traffic experts note time and again that every newly opened road becomes full after a short time, while the traffic picture on other roads hardly changes. In econometrics this phenomenon is called induced demand. In a study of urban traffic patterns between 1983 and 2003, economists Gilles Duranton and Matthew Turner found that car use increases proportionally with the growth of road capacity. The cause only becomes visible to those who use a complexity approach: Every road user reacts differently to the opening or closing of a road. That reaction can be to move the ride to another time, to use a different road, to ride with someone else, to use public transport or to cancel the ride.

Carlos Gershenson, a Mexican computer specialist, has examined traffic behavior from a complexity approach and he concludes that self-regulation is the best way to tackle congestion and to maximize the capacity of roads. If the simulated traffic changes in Chattanooga had taken place in the real world, thousands of travelers would have changed their driving behavior in a short time. They had started trying out the smart highway, and due to induced demand, congestion there would increase to old levels in no time. Someone who wants to make the effect of traffic measures visible with a digital twin should feed it with results of research into the induced demand effect, instead of just manipulating historical traffic data.

The value of digital twins

Digital twins prove their worth when simulating physical systems, i.e. processes with a parametric progression. This concerns, for example, the operation of a machine, or in an urban context, the relationship between the amount of UV light, the temperature, the wind (speed) and the number of trees per unit area. In Singapore, for example, digital twins are being used to investigate how heat islands arise in the city and how their effect can be reduced. Schiphol Airporthas a digital twin that shows all moving parts at the airport, such as roller conveyors and stairs. This enables technicians to get to work immediately in the event of a malfunction. It is impossible to say in advance whether the costs of building such a model outweigh the benefits. Digital twins often develop from small to large, driven by proven needs.

Boston also developed a digital twin of part of the city in 2017, with technical support from ESRI. A limited number of processes have been merged into a virtual 3D model. One is the shadowing caused by the height of buildings. One of the much-loved green spaces in the city is the Boston Common. For decades, it has been possible to limit the development of high-rise buildings along the edges of the park and thus to limit shade. Time and again, project developers came up with new proposals for high-rise buildings. With the digital twin, the effect of the shadowing of these buildings can be simulated in different weather conditions and in different seasons (see image above). The digital twin can be consulted online, so that everyone can view these and other effects of urban planning interventions at home.

Questions in advance

Three questions precede the construction of a digital twin, and data collection in general. In the first place, what the user wants to achieve with it, then which processes will be involved and thirdly, which knowledge is available of these processes and their impact. Chris Andrews, an urban planner working on the ESRI ArcGIS platform, emphasizes the need to limit the number of elements in a digital twin and to pre-calculate the relationship between them: To help limit complexity, the number of systems modeled in a digital twin should likely be focused on the problems the twin will be used to solve.

Both the example of traffic forecasts in Chattanooga, the formation of heat islands in Singapore and the shadowing of the Boston Common show that raw data is insufficient to feed a digital twin. Instead, data are used that are the result of scientific research, after the researcher has decided whether a systems approach or a complexity approach is appropriate. In the words of Nigel Jacob, former Chief Technology Officer in Boston: For many years now, we've been talking about the need to become data-driven… But there's a step beyond that. We need to make the transition to being science-driven in ...... It's not enough to be data mining to look for patterns. We need to understand root causes of issues and develop policies to address these issues.

Digital twins are valuable tools. But if they are fed with raw data, they provide at best insight into statistical connections and every scientist knows how dangerous it is to draw conclusions from that: Trash in, trash out.

If you prefer the Dutch version of the Better cities series, find an overview of the already published episodes via the link below.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #SmartCityAcademy
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Amsterdam Smart City End-of-year-Demoday

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Demodays are part of our innovation process and intended to boost the progress of the various innovation projects, put requests for help on the table, share dilemmas and involve others in your projects or challenges. We host them every 8-10 weeks.

Invitations are sent but we're always open to adding a few new names to the list.

During Demo days, community members pitch projects and ask for input. In small groups we work on concrete questions. All in a very positive, open and cheerful vibe.

This time on the agenda:

Pitches:
- Responsible Sensing Lab & Responsible Drones
- Public Eye / Shuttercam
- Pilot Regenerative Braking
- Social functions of neighbourhood hubs
- ArenApoort LIFE
- What Design Can Do

Want to join? Have a question? Let’s hear it in the comments!

Amsterdam Smart City's picture Meet-up on Dec 14th
Hanna Rab, Communication advisor at City of Amsterdam: Chief Technology Office, posted

Geef laptops aan de Cyberbank

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Amsterdam krijgt de eerste Cyberbank van Nederland; een soort voedselbank voor laptops en digitale ondersteuning. 💻♻️
Heb jij een laptop of heeft jouw organisatie laptops die de Cyberbank een tweede leven kan geven? Vraag je werkgever oude laptops te doneren aan de Cyberbank en deel deze oproep binnen je netwerk!
Hoe meer laptops, hoe meer mensen er blij gemaakt kunnen worden.
#decyberbankzoektlaptops

Hoe het werkt?
➡️ Organisaties en particulieren doneren hun oude laptops.
➡️ Jongeren met een afstand tot de arbeidsmarkt knappen ze op.
➡️ Mensen met een Stadspas met groene stip kunnen tegen statiegeld van €20 euro aanspraak maken op een laptop. De eerste opgeknapte laptops worden begin 2022 verdeeld.

Informatie over de inzameling van gebruikte laptops en de eisen vind je op https://decyberbank.nl/

#Citizens&Living
Hanna Rab, Communication advisor at City of Amsterdam: Chief Technology Office, posted

Leer meer over digitale rechten tijdens Digital Rights Day

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Kom naar het 'Digital Rights Day' weekend op 10-12 december! Een weekend met talks, exposities en film screenings over het thema digitale rechten.

Meld je nu aan voor onderstaande gratis (online) activiteiten:

➡️ Digital Rights Talk – 10 december (online streaming van Pakhuis de Zwijger)
➡️ Online vertoning You Are Your Profile II – 11 december (online streaming)
➡️ Tentoonstelling NEMO Studio- Bits of You + Zintuigen van Amsterdam – 11 december

Voor meer activiteiten van Digital Rights Day en om je aan te melden, ga naar https://www.amsterdam.nl/innovatie/digital-rights-day/

Online event from Dec 10th to Dec 12th
Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

CityFlows Final Project Workshop

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Over the past 1.5 years, CityFlows partners have worked on improving liveability of crowded pedestrian spaces by developing and testing the use of a Crowd Monitoring Decision Support Systems (CM-DSS) in different settings.

As the project nears competition, this final online workshop will share and validate the results and lessons learned from living labs in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Milan. The workshop will also present a selection of international best practices for crowd-management collected through the CityFlows Educational Package open call.

Draft Agenda -- Speakers will be announced soon!
•           Welcome & introductions
•           Overview to CityFlows project
•           Short keynote on responsible crowd-management innovations
•           Presentation of results and lessons learned from CityFlows Living Labs
•           Q&A with audience
•           Final reflections & wrap-up

Crowd-management researchers and practitioners are encouraged to join the event and reflect on the findings from the project.

To join this webinar, please register in advance via:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvd-qgrzIiG9P2pmV46PUhxFjOUi7HR-DK

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

For more information about the CityFlows project visit: https://cityflows-project.eu/

Cornelia Dinca's picture Online event on Dec 16th
Arjan Koning, Community Manager Responsible IT at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, posted

Fellowship responsible IT for artistic researcher or artist

The Responsible IT research group at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences is offering a fellowship to an artistic researcher or an artist, aiming to create fresh future-oriented perspectives on digitization and public values.
For your call for proposal see the following link.

Arjan Koning's picture #DigitalCity
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

3. Ten years of smart city technology marketing

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This post is about the rise of the smart city movement, the different forms it has taken and what its future can be. It is the third edition of the series Better cities: The role of digital technologies.

The term smart cities shows up in the last decade of the 20th century. Most definitions  refer to the use of (digital) technology as a tool for empowering cities and citizens, and a key to fuel economic growth and to attract investments. Some observants will add as an instrument to generate large profits.

Barcelona, Ottawa, Brisbane, Amsterdam, Kyoto, and Bangalore belong to the forerunners of cities that flagged themselves as ‘smart’. In 2013 approximately 143 ‘self-appointed’ smart cities existed worldwide. To date, this number has exploded over more than 1000.

Five smart city tales

In their article Smart Cities as Company Story telling Ola Söderström et al. document how technology companies crafted the smart city as a fictional story that framed the problems of cities in a way these companies can offer to solve. Over time, the story has multiplied, resulting in what I have called the Smart city tales, a series of narratives used by companies and city representatives. I will address with five dominant ones below: The connected city, the entrepreneurial city, the data-driven city, the digital services city and the consumers’ city.

The connected city
On November 4th 2011, the trademark smarter cities was officially registered as belonging to IBM. It marked a period in which this company became the leader of the smart city technology market. Other companies followed fast, attracted by an expected growth of this market by 20% per year from over $300bn in 2015 to over $750bn to date.  In the IBM vision cities are systems of systems: Planning and management services, infrastructural services and human services, each to be differentiated further, to be over-sighted and controlled from one central point, such as the iconic control center that IBM has build in Rio de Janeiro (photo above). All systems can be characterized by three 'I's, which are the hard core of any smart city: Being instrumented, interconnected and intelligent.

The corporate smart city
In many cities in the world, emerging and developing countries in the first place, administrators dream about building smart towns from scratch.  They envisioned being 'smart' as a major marketing tool for new business development.
Cisco and Gale, an international property development company, became the developers of New Songdo in South Korea. New Songdo was in the first place meant to become a giant business park and to enable a decent corporate lifestyle and business experience for people from abroad on the first place, offering houses filled with technical gadgets, attractive parks, full-featured office space, outstanding connectivity and accessibility.

Quite some other countries took comparable initiatives in order to attract foreign capital and experts to boost economic growth. For example, India, that has planned to build 100 smart cities.

The data driven city
The third narrative is fueled by the collection and refined analyses of data that technology companies ‘tap’ for commercial reasons from citizens’ Internet and mobile phones communication. Google was the first to discover the unlimited opportunities of integrating its huge knowledge of consumer behavior with city data. Sidewalk Labs - legally operating under the umbrella of Alphabet - responded to an open call for a proposal for redevelopment of Quayside, brownfield land around Toronto's old port, and  won the competition. Its plans were on par with contemporary urbanist thinking. However, that was not Sidewalk Labs’ first motive. Instead, its interest was ‘ubiquitous sensing’ of city life’, to expand Google’s already massive collection of personalized profiles with real-time geotagged knowledge of where people are, what they are whishing or doing in order to provide them with commercial information.
As could be expected, privacy issues dominated the discussion over the urbanist merits of the plan and most observers believe that therefore the company put the plug out of the project in May 2020. The official reason was investors’ restraint, due to Covid-19.

The consumers’ smart city
The fourth narrative is focusing on rise of urban tech targeted on consumers. Amazon, Uber and Airbnb are forerunners disrupting traditional sectors like retail, taxi and hotel business. They introduced a platform approach that nearly decimated the middleclass in in the US. Others followed, such as bike- and scooter-sharing companies Bird and Lyme, co-working companies like We Work and meal delivery services like Delivero.
City tech embodies the influence of entrepreneurship backed by venture capitalists and at the same time the necessity for city governments to establish a democratic legitimized framework to manage these initiatives.

The smart services city
Thanks to numerous ‘apps’, cities started to offer a wealth of information and services to citizens concerning employment, housing, administration, mobility, health, security and utilities. These apps enable city administrators, transit authorities, utility services and many others to inform citizens better than before. With these apps, citizens also can raise questions or make a request to repair broken street furniture.
Some cities, for instance Barcelona and Madrid, started to use digital technologies to increase public engagement, or to give people a voice in decision making or budgeting.

All aforementioned narratives suggest a tight link between technology and the wellbeing of citizens, symbolizing a new kind of technology-led urban utopia. In essence, each narrative puts available technology in the center and looks for an acceptable rationale to put it into the market. The fifth one witnesses an upcoming change into a more human-centric direction.

An upcoming techlash or a second wave of smart cities

It is unmistakably that business leaders, having in mind a multi-billion smart city technologies-market overstate the proven benefits of technology. Garbage containers with built-in sensors and adaptive street lighting are not that great after all, and the sensors appearing everywhere raise many questions. According to The Economist, it is not surprising that a techlash is underway. As I accentuated in last week’s post, politicians are becoming more critical regarding behemoths like Google, Amazon and Facebook, because of their treatment of sensitive data, their lack of transparency of algorithm-based decision making, their profits and tax evasion and the gig economy in general. Skepticism within the general public is increasing too.

Nevertheless, a second wave of smart cities is upcoming. The first wave lacked openess for the ethics of urban technology and the governance of urban development. The second wave excels in ethical considerations and intentions to preserve privacy. Intentions alone are insufficient, politics will also have to break the monopolies of Big Tech

Besides, in order to gain trust in the general public, city governors must discuss the city’s real challenges with residents, (knowledge) institutions, and other stakeholder before committing to whatever technology.  Governance comes prior to technology. As Francesca Bria, former chief technology officer of Barcelona said: We are reversing the smart city paradigm. Instead of starting from technology and extracting all the data we can before thinking about how to use it, we started aligning the tech agenda with the agenda of the city.

Apart from Barcelona, this also happens in cities such as Amsterdam, Boston, Portland and the Polish city of Lublin. The question is no longer which problems technology is going to solve, but which exactly are these problems, who is trusted to define them, which are their causes, whose intersts are involved, who is most affected, and which ones must be solved most urgently. Only after answering these questions, the discussion can be extended to the contribution of (digital) technology. In a next contribution, I explore digital social innovation, as a contribution to a revised smart city concept.

This post is a brief summary of my article Humane by choice. Smart by default: 39 building blocks for cities in the future. Published in the Journal of the American Institution of Engineers and Technology, June 2020. You will fine a copy of this article below:

Herman van den Bosch's picture #DigitalCity
Nancy Zikken, Community Manager at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Responsible Drones: Spelregels (in Dutch)

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Op 9 december organiseren het Responsible Sensing Lab (Gemeente Amsterdam en AMS) en Amsterdam Smart City de derde inhoudelijke sessie van Responsible Drones.

Responsible Drones is een verkennend en ontwerpend onderzoek naar de verantwoorde inzet van drones in de stad. We vinden het belangrijk om te onderzoeken hoe we deze op een verantwoorde manier gebruiken.

Dit keer staat de vraag ‘Hoe komen we tot de juiste spelregels?’ centraal.
Een uitdaging bij de discussie over drones is dat veel toepassingen klinken als toekomstmuziek. Hierdoor blijft het gesprek over deze technologie snel steken in abstracties. Intussen staat Amsterdam wel in de schijnwerpers
van de drone-industrie en staan bedrijven te trappelen om hier te mogen vliegen. Dit gaat het beeld van de publieke ruimte aanzienlijk veranderen. Het is daarom goed als we duidelijke spelregels hebben voor het verantwoord gebruik van drones in de stad.

Wat is de rol van de gemeente hierin, aangezien wet- en regelgeving voornamelijk Europees is? Welke partijen met bevoegdheden moeten we betrekken? Hoe betrekken we de quadruple helix, wat is hun rol en wat is er nodig om een gevoel van urgentie bij hen te genereren? Wat is er nodig om de abstractie weg te halen?

Praktisch
Wanneer: donderdag 18 november, 14.00 - 15.30 uur
Waar: online

We hebben persoonlijke uitnodigingen gestuurd, maar willen ook ruimte bieden aan onze community. Laat me hieronder even weten als je erbij wil zijn, wellicht hebben we nog plekken beschikbaar!

Resultaat Responsible Drones
Op 28 oktober en 18 november hebben we goede discussies gehad over proportionaliteit en transparantie en communicatie over drones. Op basis van al deze sessies zullen we adviezen over verantwoord dronegebruik en vervolgonderzoek opstellen. Deze resultaten presenteren we op de Amsterdam Drone Week in januari 2022.

Nancy Zikken's picture Online event on Dec 9th
Gijs Boerwinkel, Head of communications at Waag, posted

Wandelen in Amsterdam langs de digitale sporen van de slimme stad

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Wandel op 30 januari '22 mee langs de digitale sporen in Amsterdam en ga in gesprek over data, sensoren, en camera’s in de openbare ruimte. Kan een stad slim zijn of moeten we juist inzetten op slimme burger; smart citizens?

Wat wordt er aan data verzameld en wat gebeurt daarmee? Kun je je nog onbespied wanen in de publieke ruimte van mijn stad? Hoe ziet de ideale digitale stad van de toekomst er volgens jou uit?

Digitale infrastructuur

Ooit bestond de stad uit bakstenen en staal, gebouwen en wegen. Maar steeds meer is deze infrastructuur vervlochten met een digitaal netwerk dat alles verbindt. Deze digitale sporen vind je overal. Ze helpen ons de stad en haar inwoners steeds verder in kaart te brengen. Tijdens de smart citizen-wandeling kom je deze sporen tegen. Van slimme bewegwijzering die ons leidt, tot camera’s die ons volgen. Je gaat in gesprek over de relatie van bewoners met de technologie in de stad en wordt uitgedaagd je aannames te bevragen en toekomstideëen te delen.

Wanneer:30 januari '22
Starttijden: 14:00 uur en 15:00 uur
Startpunt: Amsterdam CS, IJ-zijde West
Eindpunt: Tolhuistuin
Nodig: goede schoenen, opgeladen telefoon, flesje water
Afstand en duur wandeling: 
Amsterdam: 
5,3 km
 - 1 uur en drie kwartier

Meer informatie

Bij het startpunt van de wandeling krijg je informatie over de wandeling en ontvang je een wandelpakket met een routekaart en gespreksmateriaal voor tijdens de wandeling. We starten gezamenlijk, daarna wandel je in kleine groepjes, met max 4 mensen. Bij het eindpunt word je ontvangen met koffie en thee. Je kunt je aanmelden met vrienden, of meewandelen met iemand die je nog niet kent en je laten verrassen!

Gijs Boerwinkel's picture Meet-up on Jan 30th
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Meet the members of Amsterdam Smart City! Manon den Dunnen: ‘New technology fascinates me, but somehow I always end up seeing the dark side’

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Manon den Dunnen is the Dutch police force’s strategic specialist on digital transformation and co-organiser of the IoT Sensemakers Community.

“The IoT Sensemakers Community has over 7,000 members worldwide. Our members share knowledge and experiences about Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and AI. IoT plays an important role in the smart city, as sensors are often used to make the city smarter. We believe you should do this in a responsible manner.”

“In the offline world, we fight discrimination and exclusion, but digital solutions introduce new forms of discrimination and exclusion that undermine our constitutional values. This may be caused by poorly chosen sensors (check out this viral video of the ‘racist soap dispenser’), the algorithms used in ‘smart’ applications or by data being unnecessarily collected and stored.”

“Sensemakers joined forces with Waag, Sensing Clues, Ombudsman Metropool Amsterdam and the City of Amsterdam to use sound sensors to analyse the noise nuisance in the city centre. At Marineterrein, a test area for creating liveable cities, we are now testing a sound sensor that can classify different types of noise. The sensor does not store data, but labels the different types of sound. A few years ago, we also tested sensors for measuring water quality, and we’re still testing indoor air quality.”

Tinkering with technology
“Every first Wednesday evening of the month, we meet at the Amsterdam Public Library (OBA) Makerspace to tinker with technology. People can work on their own projects and discuss their ideas with the likeminded, but they can also start learning with Arduino or 3Dprinting. We also organise lectures, for example with Schiphol Real Estate about smart buildings and with designer Anouk Wipprecht about robotic wearables like her Spider Dress. In January we’ll have interesting speakers making sense of the Metaverse, the latest hype, or isn’t it…?”

“We just celebrated our 10th anniversary and are working on a lot of fun little projects. I really love the diversity and creativity. Recently, someone built an insect recogniser. We had an older volunteer in a care institution who wanted to program games for the elderly on a care robot. That evening, a teenage boy came to learn how to build a robot car. They were helping each other. I love that serendipity.”

“A lot of technology is supplier-driven. But as a society—as buyers of these solutions—we are insufficiently trained to ask the right questions to truly assess this new technology and its long-term risks. We sometimes even forget to critically analyse the problem we’re dealing with, overlooking obvious low-tech or no-tech solutions. With my work for Sensemakers, I hope that we all become more critical and have a network we can consult.”

If you’d like to get in touch with Manon, you can find her on this platform.

This interview is part of the series 'Meet the Members of Amsterdam Smart City'. In the next weeks we will introduce more members of this community to you. Would you like to show up in the series? Drop us a message!

Interview and article by Mirjam Streefkerk

Amsterdam Smart City's picture #DigitalCity
Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

CityFlows is Looking for International Crowd-Management Innovations & Best Practices

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The EIT-KIC project CityFlows aims to improve the liveability of crowded pedestrian spaces through the use of Crowd Monitoring Decision Support Systems (CM-DSS) to manage pedestrian flows.  Amsterdam, Milan and Barcelona are the three CityFlows project test sites  where various innovative crowd monitoring techniques will be evaluated in real-life settings.  These tests will take place where large crowds meet, such as mass events, tourist spaces and transfer hubs.  The CityFlows project also prepares a CM-DSS for market launch which incorporates state-of-the-art monitoring techniques.

One of the goals of the CityFlows project is to build a community of crowd-management researchers and practitioners which supports knowledge sharing between the various stakeholders. To this end, in 2020 we hosted a webinar series focused on knowledge sharing.

Now, we are putting out an open call for crowd-management best practices and are looking to collect international best practices.

Do you have a crowd-management solution or project which you would like to showcase to peers, policy makers and the public?

We invite all stakeholders, including public authorities, companies, start-ups, and knowledge institutions to share their crowd-management innovations and lessons learned.

A selection of the cases will be featured in a “Best Practices for Crowd-management” digital showcase.

Submitting your crowd-management solution / project is possible via this short form by providing answers to the following questions:

  1. What crowd-management technologies were deployed in the project?
  2. How did you turn data into actionable information? What key insights were gained from the project and how did this help improve managing crowds?
  3. How did you deal with privacy and other ethical challenges in your project?
  4. What were the main challenges encountered and how did you overcome them?
  5. What are the most important transferable lessons learned (positive or negative) from the project? What can other cities / stakeholders learn from this experience?

Deadline
Please complete submission by 18:00 on Friday, December 10th.

More information
For questions and more information about this call for solutions please contact:

Cornelia Dinca's picture #DigitalCity
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

2. Scare off the monster behind the curtain: Big Tech’s monopoly

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This post is about the omnipotence of Big Tech. So far, resistance mainly results in regulation of its effects. The core of the problem, the monopoly position of the technology giants, is only marginally touched. What is needed is a strict antitrust policy and a government that once again takes a leading role in setting the technology agenda.

A cause of concern

 In its recent report, the Dutch Rathenau Institute calls the state of digital technology a cause for concern. The institute advocates a fair data economy and a robust, secure and available Internet for everyone. This is not the case now. In fact, we are getting further and further away from this. The risks are pressing more each day: Inscrutable algorithms, deepfakes and political micro-targeting, inner-city devastation through online shopping, theft of trade secrets, unbridled data collection by Google, Amazon and Facebook, poorly paid taxi drivers by Uber and other service providers of the gig economy, the effect of Airbnb on the hotel industry and the energy consumption of bitcoin and blockchain.

The limits of legislation

Numerous publications are calling on the government to put an end to the growing abuse of digital technology. In his must read 'the New Digital Deal' Bas Boorsma states: In order to deploy digitalization and to manage platforms for the greater good of the individual and society as a whole, new regulatory approaches will be required… (p. 46) . That is also the view of the Rathenau Institute, which lists three spearheads for a digitization strategy: Strong legislative frameworks and supervision, value-based digital innovation based on critical parliamentary debate and a say in this for citizens and professionals.

More than growing inconvenience

In recent years, the European Commission has launched a wide range of legislative proposals, such as the Digital Services Act package, the Digital Market Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, these measures do not get to the kernel of the problem. The near-monopoly position of Big Tech is the proverbial monster behind the curtain. The Rathenau Institute speaks in furtitive terms of "the growing inconvenience" of reliance on American and Chinese tech giants. Even the International Monetary Fund is clearer in stating that the power of Big Tech inhibits innovation and investment and increases income inequality. Due to the power of the big technology companies, society is losing its grip on technology.

Surveillance capitalisme

To curb the above-mentioned risks, the problem must first be named  and measures must then be tailored accordingly. This is done in two recent books, namely Shoshana Zuboff's 'The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power' (2019) and Cory Doctorow's 'How to destroy surveillance capitalism' (2021). Zuboff describes in detail how Google, Amazon and Facebook collect data with only one goal, to entice citizens to buy goods and services: Big Tech's product is persuasion. The services — social media, search engines, maps, messaging, and more — are delivery systems for persuasion.

Big tech's monopoly

The unprecedented power of Big Tech is a result of the fact that these companies have become almost classic monopolies. Until the 1980s, the US had strict antitrust legislation: the Sherman's act, notorious for big business. Ronald Reagan quickly wiped it out in his years as president, and Margareth Thatcher did the same in the UK, Brian Mulroney in Canada and Helmut Kohl in Germany. While Sherman saw monopolies as a threat to the free market, Reagan believed that government interference threatens the free market. Facebook joins in if it sees itself as a 'natural monopoly': You want to be on a network where your friends are also. But you could also reach your friends if there were more networks that are interoperable. Facebook has used all economic, technical and legal means to combat the latter, including takeover of potential competitors: Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

In the early 21st century, there was still a broad belief that emerging digital technology could lead to a better and more networked society. Bas Boorsma: The development of platforms empowered start-ups, small companies and professionals. Many network utopians believed the era of 'creative commons' had arrived and with it, a non-centralized and highly digital form of 'free market egalitarianism' (New Digital Deal, p.52). Nothing has come of this: Digitalization-powered capitalism now possesses a speed, agility and rawness that is unprecedented (New Digital Deal, p.54). Even the startup community is becoming one big R&D lab for Big Tech. Many startups hope to be acquired by one of the tech giants and then cash in on millions. As a result, Big Tech is on its way to acquire a dominant position in urban development, the health sector and education, in addition to the transport sector.

Antitrust legislation

Thanks to its monopoly position, Big Tech can collect unlimited data, even if European legislation imposes restrictions and occasional fines. After all, a lot of data is collected without citizens objecting to it. Mumford had already realized this in 1967: Many consumers see these companies not only as irresistible, but also ultimately beneficial. These two conditions are the germ of what he called the megatechnics bribe.

The only legislation that can break the power of Big Tech is a strong antitrust policy, unbundling the companies, an absolute ban on acquisitions and rigorous taxation.

Technology agenda

Technology does not develop autonomously. At the moment, Big Tech is indisputably setting the technology agenda in the Western Hemisphere. China is a different story. With Mariana Mazzocato, I believe that governments should take back control of technological development, as they did until the end of the last century. Consider the role of institutions such as DARPA in the US, the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany and TNO in the Netherlands. Democratic control is an absolute precondition!

In the chapter 'Digitally just cities' in my e-book 'Cities of the future: Always humane, smart where it helps' (link below), I show, among other things, what Facebook, Amazon and Google could look like after a possible unbundling.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #SmartCityAcademy
Jet van Eeghen, Online communication advisor at Amsterdam Economic Board, posted

AMdEX Meetup over delen van sensor data op Marineterrein

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Vanwege de nieuwe corona-regelgeving houden we op 2 december een online bijeenkomst via Zoom vanaf 16.30 uur. We geven je in korte tijd zoveel mogelijk informatie over hoe het gaat met AMdEX (Amsterdam Data Exchange) en de samenwerking met het Marineterrein. Zij willen de data, afkomstig uit de sensoren op het terrein, delen met geïnteresseerden. Natuurlijk moet dat wel op een manier die veilig en vertrouwd is.

Programma

- Welkom en introductie AMdEX – Willem Koeman (Amsterdam Economic Board)
- AMdEX, een vertrouwd grid voor het delen van data – Hayo Schreijer (deXes)
- Marineterrein Sensor Data: AMdEX en het Marineterrein werken samen aan het delen van sensordata – Tom van Arman (Tapp)
- AMdEX beleid – hoe dwing je regels digitaal af rondom het gebruik van (gevoelige) data af? – Thomas van Binsbergen (UvA)
- Q&A

Neem deel aan dit event via Zoom. Je bent welkom op 2 december om 16:30 uur.

Achtergrondinformatie

AMdEX (Amsterdam Data Exchange) is een open coalitie van bedrijven en onderzoeksinstellingen die samen een open en vertrouwde infrastructuur voor het delen van gegevens ontwerpen en ontwikkelen. De coalitie wil de overgang naar een eerlijke en vertrouwde digitale economie versnellen waarin individuen en organisaties de volledige controle hebben over hun gegevens.

Data: een belofte voor het leven in de stad. Data stellen ons in staat om de grote uitdagingen van moderne steden aan te pakken en ze schoner, veiliger en gezonder te maken. Helaas is toegang tot deze gegevens niet zo eenvoudig als het lijkt. Wie wil bedrijfsgevoelige data delen met een concurrent? Of privacygevoelige data? Door onzekerheid over veiligheid, privacy en data-eigendom wordt minder dan 1% van alle data daadwerkelijk gebruikt, gedeeld en geanalyseerd.

Jet van Eeghen's picture Meet-up on Dec 2nd