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3rd EINS summer school: From Smart Cities to Engaged Citizens

From Smart Cities to Engaged Citizens: Windows for Collaboration between Computer Science and Urban Planning

Location: Volos, Greece

Date: July 13-20th 2014

This is the third summer school organized by the project EINS, the FP7 Network of Excellence in Internet Science, entitled "From Smart Cities to Engaged Citizens". The goal of EINS is to coordinate and integrate current research initiatives aimed at achieving a deeper multidisciplinary understanding of the development of the Internet as a societal and technological artefact, whose evolution is increasingly intertwined with that of human societies. Its main objective is to allow an open and productive dialogue between all disciplines that study Internet systems under various technological or humanistic perspectives, which are being transformed by the continuous advances in Internet functionalities and applications.

The topic of this summer school is chosen to investigate an interdisciplinary approach on the design of ICT tools and urban interventions that can support a range of local citizen initiatives in contemporary cities including the following:

  1. Smart cities applications, crowd sourcing, citizen science
  2. Participatory urban interaction design
  3. Local hybrid communities over user-owned wireless networks
  4. Complementary currencies and local economies

The students and participants of the summer school will be expected to work in groups on selected applications in the above areas of interest. The applications will be designed within the city of Volos as their target case study. For example, by the end of the school, a potential community in Volos will be provided with the means to create its own complementary currency and a platform for information sharing/gathering using its own wireless network infrastructure supported by suitable urban physical interventions.

Each day will be divided in a plenary morning session where lecturers will present key concepts and ideas for each design space from different perspectives (i.e., research, practice, and policy) and an afternoon session where the different groups will gather to work on their selected application/assignment, supervised by both lecturers and tutors with hands-on experience on the topic. At the end of the day, a short plenary session will allow groups to inform each other on their progress and discuss possible interdependencies. On the last day, each group will present its assignment as one part of the overall project at a panel which will include local urban professionals and potentially representatives from the citys local authorities.

Urban researchers and planners will present the city of Volos to the school participants. The first day of the school, an introductory session on the urban everyday life as well as the current status of urban projects and policies for development will provide relevant information for the school case studies in Volos. This information will add and explain the field participant observations gathered during the guided tours in selected parts of the town, which will be organized on Sunday July 13th, prior to the school week.

Finally, since Volos lies at the entrance toward one of the most beautiful areas in Greece, during the weekend after the end of the school participants will be welcome to gather in a nice location by the sea (to be announced later) and reflect on lessons learned and discuss possibilities for future collaborations.

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