Opening Smart cities: challenges to engage citizens through information systems – ECIS workshop

To organize a scientific event in the form of a workshop as part of the 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS). ESR 01,03,04,05,06,13 and 15 gathered in Guimaraes – Portugal to discuss the topic of “Opening Smart cities: challenges to engage citizens through information systems.”

The workshop aimed to allow space for the participants and organizers to reflect on current smart cities practices and their challenges, and possible ways to address them. It was particularly emphasized by the call that the participants considered and proposed over the importance of effective citizen engagement strategies and platforms within the smart cities’ context.

Different activities took place during the workshop: presentation session and brainstorming session. The presentations covered a broad range of topics (citizen engagement, privacy from the smart city’s point of view, participatory budget and transformation of smart and sustainable cities). After the presentations, an interactive session was built on the group discussion and brainstorming. The topics included “IoT & Privacy in smart cities,” “Openness in smart cities: challenges and impact” and “Sense of place to promote participation in smart cities.” Participants were divided into two groups, and finally, they all agreed on common issues concerning the participation of citizens in city contexts such as isolation, exclusion and lack of participation.

More information on the workshop can be found here:

Pictures of the workshop:


GEO-C @CeDEM2017- E-participation in the Urban Planning Process: Challenges to be addressed by ICT

The proceedings of the 7th international conference for E-democracy and open government held at the Danube University Krems 17-19 May 2017 (CeDEM2017). It invites individuals from academic and applied background as well as business, public authorities, NGOs, NPOS and education insititution to submit papers and join the discussion on topics and issues related to e-democracy and open government.
GEO-C organized an interactive workshop by using lego blocks to create self-awareness about the challenges of citizens participation through ICT in urban planning. During workshop session Lego blocks were used to represent different scenarios of public participation in the urban planning process, first at the individual level and then in groups. With the guidance of the organizers, the attendees’ discussion were mainly around the questions as follows:
  1. What are the main challenges in e-participation and smart cities to engage in the urban planning process?
  2. How ICT can facilitate citizens participation in complex scenarios that demand discussion, debate, and finally decision-making?
  3. What do people expect from e-participation platforms?
Some pictures are attached from the day:

2nd CALL FOR PAPERS for Open Data for Open Cities Workshop at the AGILE 2017 Conference.

We invite all who want to be a part of a discussion on the real impact of Open Data in cities and spatial point analysis process on linear networks to present their works in our workshop.

Once the data consumers have access to open data, next step is to go depth and come up with practical methods of analysis together with accessible results for citizens.

Keynote Speaker:

We are very pleased to announce to our keynote speaker, Heleen Vollers. is a Senior Management Consultant at Capgemini Consulting. She works in the Public Insights & Data practice of Capgemini Consulting where she is a member of Capgemini’s global EU account.

Heleen is actively involved in the development of the European Data Portal and associated services, on behalf of the European Commission – DG CONNECT. Beyond being just a Portal, the project offers support services to countries as they mature on their Open Data journey. In addition, there is a strong focus on driving a user community and understanding the benefits of Open Data. Heleen leads the research work on measuring the level of Open Data maturity across Europe.


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CfP Workshop @ ECIS2017: Opening Smart Cities: Challenges to engage citizens through information systems

We, some of the ESRs from the “GEO-C – Geoinformatics: Enabling Open Cities” project, would like to invite you to our half-day pre-conference workshop part of the 25th Annual European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2017). This workshop entitled “Opening Smart Cities: Challenges to engage citizens through information systems” aims to explore and discuss the potential of information systems to engage citizens in the development of smart cities through e-participation technologies.

The session will take place on June 6, 2017, in conjunction with the ECIS 2017 in Guimarães, Portugal. The deadlines for short papers (max. 2000 words) submissions are on April 3, 2017 and we encourage you to submit your paper as a .pdf to us, along with the authors’ names and contact details to The main topics we will address will be:

  • E-participation in smart cities
  • Citizen engagement platforms in smart cities
  • Open data and governance towards open and inclusive cities
  • Participatory and critical design in urban decision-making processes
  • New kinds of interaction between citizens and other stakeholders in open cities
  • Different performance of citizens on using ICT for e-participation: gender, age, education, etc
  • Reflections for e-participation: Best practices, failures & practical challenges.

We are looking forward to your submission!
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Open Data for Open Cities GeoC Workshop in Geomundus conference

img_5339From November 4 to November 5, 2016, GeoC – UJI led Open Data for Open cities participatory workshop related to Open Data and its use. This activity  was held in last Geomundus conference that took a place last weekend in Castellon de la Plana – Spain.

With over 30 students from the consortium of Erasmus Mundus (EM) International Master’s program in Geospatial Technologies (Nova University, Munster University, UJI University) and also Geomundus keynote speaker Richard Sliuzas from Twente University,  topics such as available open data, re-use barriers and engagement mechanisms of cities open data portals were talked during this activity.

The overall aim of this workshop was to identify and discuss how open data consumer search and use open data services for a specific application. The activities made during this activity were:

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ifgi (WWU) participates in workshop on the future of the atlas

IMG_3333The Geovisualisation group at the Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde, led by Francis Harvey, ( organised a workshop to discuss the future of the atlas (, in German).  Not long ago, when someone wanted to access geographic information, they would reach for their atlas and look up what they were interested in.  With the proliferation of digital and online maps, many people now turn to readily available online services instead of their atlas.  Still, an atlas is more than just a collection of maps: it is carefully curated and the maps and diagrams it contains are usually of a very high quality.  The people creating an atlas also invest a lot of thought what (not) to include and which diagrams and maps to combine on a single page.  These useful aspects are frequently lost when transitioning to ‘vanilla’ online maps.

The two-day, by-invitation-only workshop at Leipzig (June 9th and 10th) brought together scientists and practitioners with different backgrounds, ranging from arts over literature, social sciences and cartography to geoinformatics and computer science.  At the event, several key aspects and challenges were discussed, including the role of curation, how people will want to interact with the atlas of the future and what economic models can fund atlas-related work.  Researchers from ifgi constituted the largest group of external experts and highlighted relevant issues such as transparency and openness, real-time sensor data and accessible user interfaces.

Notes on Design & The City Conference: Controversies on Urban Participation and Participatory Sensing

CgpPa8KWYAAaopbIt is well known that participation and citizen engagement is a hard goal to accomplish in cities. Applied technologies to public participation have brought new opportunities to the field. Beyond all the good intentions, there are a lot of grey zones in what society have accomplished by engaging the public. The disappointments in SmartCity projects are usually related to tools that where designed or defined in narrow ways, giving only a unidirectional sense. And as Dorien De Molder pointed, the “Smart City discourse is normative”, It’s based on and reinforces particular beliefs about relationship between people, power and digital technologies.

During the last week I attended to the Design and The City conference and workshops, in Amsterdam.
The event was curated by Martijn De Waal, who in his book “The city as Platform” gives us an idea on how the public context and technology are changing our perception about familiar places.

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