Author Archives: Liam Heaphy

Seminar 5: Antoine Picon – “Smart Cities: A Design Perspective”

For our next event in the seminar series, we have invited Professor Antoine Picon from Harvard University to give a historical and design perspective on the smart city. He is the G. Ware Travelstead Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology and Director of Research at the Graduate School of Design in Harvard.

Antoine Picon has written extensively on the history of urban technologies, ranging from the impact of the Enlightenment through to the digital and computational revolution in architecture. We hope that this event will appeal to a broad audience of urban geographers, architects and planners, historians, and all with an interest in the history of design and technology.

We are looking forward to welcoming you on Wednesday 17th May from 3pm to 5pm for this talk in Room 2.31, Iontas Building, at Maynooth University.

Abstract
Smart Cities have been envisaged in recent years from a technological standpoint or from a social sciences perspective. In order to understand better what is at stake with their rise, this lecture will propose two additional approaches. The first will be historical. What can we learn about smart cities by placing their emergence within the broader framework of the evolution of the relations between cities, technologies and societies since the dawn of the industrial revolution?
Smart cities could very well represent a new “paradigm”, to use Thomas Kuhn’s concept, which is about to replace the networked city inherited from the 19th century. A second approach will be in terms of design, for smart cities raise all kinds of challenges for engineers and architects in charge of the conception of infrastructures and buildings. There again, what is taking place looks like a drastic departure from an established conception of projects.

antoinepicon_seminar

A special thanks to Gareth Young for his input into this poster. All queries can be directed to liam.heaphy@nuim.ie or mussi@nuim.ie.

Workshop paper with LERO / School of Business: Perception of Value in Public-Private Ecosystems: Transforming Dublin Docklands through Smart Technologies

On December 9th 2016, Lero organised a workshop called IoT & Smart City Challenges and Applications” (ICSA 2016), prior to the 2016 International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2016), held in Dublin, Ireland from December 11-14. The event features 12 presentations across three themes, along with panel discussions.

Among these was the following paper on the Dublin Docklands, drawing from our early findings on partnership models for a smart district:

Perception of Value in Public-Private Ecosystems: Transforming Dublin Docklands through Smart Technologies
Olga Ryazanova, Reka Petercsak, Liam Heaphy, Niall Connolly and Brian Donnellan

or just Dublin Docklands?

Abstract:
Our study explores the potential for developing a hybrid business model for public-private ecosystem that emerged around the smart cities project in Dublin Docklands Strategic Development Zone. We focus on stakeholders’ expectations in relation to value creation and value capture, trying to understand to what extent the interests of stakeholder groups are diverse, and whether it is possible to create consensus that delivers economic, social, and environmental value for participants. The findings of this study seek to advance the literature on the business models of hybrid organisations and to test some assumptions of the research on the governance of public-private partnerships.

download

Seminar video: Andrés Luque-Ayala

On February 8th of this year, we had the pleasure of having Dr Andrés Luque-Ayala in Maynooth University to give a seminar on “Digital Territories: Location Awareness and the Re-making of Political Space in Rio’s Favelas”.

This presentation was based on research conducted with Flávia Maia (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Urban Planning Dept.) on the digital mapping of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas in the context of the city’s ICT drive to become a leading ‘smart city’.

Seminar: “Digital Territories: Location Awareness and the Re-making of Political Space in Rio’s Favelas” by Andrés Luque-Ayala

We are delighted to have Dr. Andrés Luque-Ayala as a guest speaker on Wednesday 8th February at 3pm, Iontas Building, room 2.31 for the third of our Programmable City seminars this academic year 2016/17.

Dr. Andrés Luque-Ayala is a lecturer at Durham University, based in the Department of Geography. He has a broad background in academia, urban design and sustainability consultancy, with his research interests primarily focussed on climate change and smart cities.

He was a co-investigator in the RCUK-CONFAP International Network (UK-Brazil) Augmented urbanity and smart technologies, and will be presenting his research with Flávia Maia (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Urban Planning Dept.) on the digital mapping of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas in the context of the city’s ICT drive to become a leading ‘smart city’.

ProgCity_Seminar_4_3_ AndresLuque

Boston fieldwork

Boston and Brookline from the tower in Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Boston from the tower in Mount Auburn Cemetery

From April 2nd to 30th five of the Programmable City team travelled to Boston (or rather as we quickly learned the Metro-Boston area, which is a conglomerate of 101 municipalities) to undertake fieldwork, staying in Cambridge.  Over the course of a busy month the team:

  • conducted 75 interviews/focus groups;
  • had 25 informal meetings;
  • undertook participant observation at 3 civic hacks;
  • were given 4 tours of facilities and 2 of the city;
  • presented 7 invited talks (at MIT (3), Harvard, Northeastern, UMass Boston and Analog Devices);
  • attended 8 other workshops/conferences (Bits and Bricks at MIT; Using Technology to Engage Constituents and Improve Governance at Northeastern; Civic Media meetup at MIT; Urban Mobility in Green Cities at Boston Univ; Microsoft Civic Innovation; Climate Change Policy after Paris at Boston Univ; Digital GeoHumanities at Harvard; City Mart at NY Civic Hall).

The interviews were conducted with a range of different stakeholders including municipal, regional and state-level government officials, various agencies, university researchers, and companies.  The research focused on mapping out the smart city landscape in general terms, with a particular in-depth focus on various data-driven initiatives in the metro area, transportation solutions, civic hacking, the development of civic tech, procurement of smart city technologies, and emergency management response.

Along with the 29 interviews conducted on previous visits, we now have a rich dataset of over 100 interviews to analyse in order to make sense of the Boston Metro area’s use of smart city technologies and to compare with Dublin (for which we have a couple of hundred interviews).  That said, we’ve not quite finished with the fieldwork and a couple of team members will be back at some point to extend their work.  We’ll also be returning for the Association of American Geographers conference which is being held in Boston in 2017 to present some of our findings.

We would like to thank everyone who agreed to take part in our research and for generously sharing their knowledge, insights and time, and also for helping to introduce us to other potential interviewees and generally steer us in the right direction.  We very much appreciate the excellent hospitality we received during our visit.  The next task is to get all the interviews transcribed and to start the coding work.  No small task!

Rob Kitchin

Rachel O’Dwyer – Governance by Design: The Case of Blockchains

Dr. Rachel O’Dwyer presented here on the 9th December (see poster), talking about the history of the blockchain and its relevance to governance. She talked about the relationship between peer-to-peer systems such as the blockchain in relation to our concepts of ‘governance’, ‘trust’ and ‘democracy’, stimulating an interesting discussion on how these concepts are reconceived in relation to this new form of digital infrastructure.

Along with our previous seminars from 2015, you can see the presentation below: