Community Engagement in the Smart City

AHRC International research Network: Whose Right to the Smart City

Workshop Agenda 
Dates: 6th – 7th September 2017
Venue: Room 6.02 The Bartlett School of Architecture,
22 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0QB, United Kingdom

The Bartlett, UCL London

The full programme can be downloaded here.

Workshop objectives
The third event will focus on the city itself, and how citizens within urban space engage with technologies embedded within them. This involves the understanding of how people might contribute to the design of a future urban space that reflects this changing engagement with a ‘smart’ city. The event will involve a number of invited participants (academics, community groups, and key stakeholders involved in local public sector or third sector initiatives) in addition to the PI, CI and members of the steering committee. The event objective will be to develop a shared understanding of challenges of engaging with digital city-making and identify different types of ICT initiatives might be appropriate for marginalised communities in the UK, and particularly the London context.

• Identify different features that empower (marginalised) communities to achieve participation and engagement in the context of the Smart City in London/UK.
• Understanding of the context of smart city in London: what are the constraints and limits of smart project in London/UK?
• Publication of the Seminar presentations at the network website.

Context: Smart Cities London

London’s population is set to grow from over 10 million in 2036 forming new pressures on the city and creating new challenges of dealing with, for instance, increasing waste and meeting extra pressure on healthcare, transport, energy supply and the management of energy, utilities, waste and pollution. In response, London intends to demonstrate how data and digital technology solutions can support a city’s growth (developers both inside and outside government can use the data to make new software and platforms.)

The Smart London Plan
In March 2013 the Mayor of London formed the Smart London Board, which comprised of a group of experts, including academics, business leaders and entrepreneurs. The aim is to shape and implement London’s strategy to ensure digital technology makes London a better experience for everyone. Putting Londoners and London’s businesses at the heart of this process, the board advises the Mayor and the London Enterprise Panel, on how London can best use technology and data to enable more integrated solutions to address London’s challenges.

The Mayor’s Smart London Plan was published in December 2013 outlining how to use the creative power of data and technology[6] to serve London and improve Londoners’ lives. It builds on existing efforts where London is already recognised as a leader in digital innovation, and a pioneer in open data trough, for instance, The London Datastore that was one
of the first platforms to make public
data open and accessible and London’s dashboard that visualises the ‘pulse’ of the capital. Innovations in transport include using number plate recognition for the congestion charge, Wi-Fi on the Tube and the intelligent road network management, using contactless Oyster, credit and debit cards (digital money) and using new technologies to reuse waste heat (from underground shafts and sub-stations) and final, the first London Infrastructure Map (IMA LDN) that combines planned and estimated development activity with infrastructure providers’ investment decisions.

Along with the Smart London Plan, the Mayor has the Digital Inclusion Strategy, with the Infrastructure Plan that set out how to bring together the digital community to ensure that London has the infrastructure in place to stay ahead while enabling businesses and residents to take full advantage of its benefits. This will need new forms of collaboration between Londoners, government, businesses and academia.

The future of Smart London
Smart London is delivered through three overarching work streams that aims to engage Londoners (through using smart technology) to enhance the range of engaging and empowering Londoners and businesses; enabling good growth through harnessing data and digital technology to meet the growth challenges facing London’s infrastructure, environment, and transport systems and all framed through working with businesses – leveraging opportunities for innovation and business growth.
Case studies include among others the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, and London Living labs (see also Smart London Case Studies ) 

Engaging with citizens
The most challenging gap in the delivery of the Smart London Plan is citizen engagement. The current approaches mostly address citizens as recipients or consumers, rather than as participants, co-creators, or as owners. These are imbedded a neoliberal conception of citizenship that prioritises consumption choice and individual autonomy within a framework that prioritise market-led solutions to urban issues, rather than being based in civil, social rights xx.

Day One
Wednesday 6/9/17

Venue: Room 6.02 The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL Faculty of the Built Environment
22 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0QB, United Kingdom

9.30-10.00 Arrival and coffee
10.00-10.15 – Welcome: Prof. Alan Penn, Dean of The Bartlett Faculty for the Built Environment, UCL
10.15-10.20  –  Overview of the day – Ava Fatah, The Bartlett, UCL
10.20-10.30 – AHRC Network Overview: Dr. Katharine Willis, University of Plymouth (Network PI)

Morning Session
Topic: Understanding participation and engagement with (marginalized) communities in the Smart City
10.30-11.45 – 10 minute overviews of selected current smart city projects and engagement of citizens and marginalised groups (UCL/Intel, University of Westminster)

11.45-12.30  –  Discussion
12.30-14.00 lunch
Afternoon Session 1
14.00-14.20: Smart City London and Citizens Engagement: Dr Steve lorimer

Topic: Participation and engagement in the (Smart) City
14.20-15.20 – 10 minute overview of community based initiatives that address  participation and engagement in the  city

15.20-15.45 – Coffee break

Afternoon Session 2
Topic: Participation in the Smart City: ICT projects and citizens-led platforms.
15.45-16.45 – 10 minute overview of community based and citizens-led ICT platforms that address participation and engagement in the city

justMap (Niclos Fonty)
D4SC (Priya Prakash)
NESTA (Tom Saunders)
Spacehive (Toby Bennett)

16.45-17.15 –  Panel discussion of projects  and drawing together the outcomes
17.15-17.30 – Summing up and next steps session
18.00  – Finish
19.00  – Dinner- venue TBC (not funded)

Day Two (07/09/17)
Mapping exercise (network partners only)
Relationship between everyday access to data and policy level

Ava, Fatah, UCL, London

Network Partners:
Katharine Willis (PI), Plymouth University
Ava Fatah (CoI), UCL
Ana Baltazar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Satyarupa Shekhar, CAG, India

Key Academic Participants/Guests (not full list)

Invited HE speakers/participants (alphabetical order):
•Prof Lindsay Bremner, University of Westminster.
Dr. Sarah Gallacher ICRI (Intel Cities Institute, UCL), Citizen Engagement Sense making with citizens, UCL
•Christina Leigh Geros, designer, researcher, and educator currently in Jakarta.
•Prof. Muki Hacklay, Extreme Citizen Science: ExCiteS, UCL (Beyond quantification: a role for citizen science and community science in a smart city)
• Dr. Clare Melhuish, UCL Urban Lab, University-led urban regeneration: Making sense of digital data: inclusive visualisation workshops as a component of participatory urban regeneration in Brixton.
• Flavia Maia, Urban Planning Coordinator, Open Government Fellow, Organization of American States, Brazil
• Paul Mullins, CASA, The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (Using Smart Cities to Deliver the New Urban Agenda: Issues & Challenges).
• Gabriela Uchoa, Head of Agenda 2030, City Hall of Teresina , Open Government Fellow, Organization of American States, Brazil
• Dr. Oliver Zanetti, Open University (Smart Cities in the Making, Learning from Milton Keynes)
Andre Afonso, PhD candidate, The Bartlett, UCL
Abril Herrera, PhD candidate, The Bartlett, UCL
Saffron Woodcraft, PhD candidate, IGP UCL Institute of Global Prosperity (Re-thinking sustainable prosperity: East London as a test case for new post-GDP measures)
• Efstathia Kostopoulou, PhD candidate, the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
• Rafael L. Pinheiro, PhD candidate, Architect, Urban Planner, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Invited Non HE speakers (SME, Third party):
• Darshana Chauhan, London Borough of Hackney (Attitudes Network : 100 public spaces : 150 days : 42 cities : how to scale up small bottom up approaches to make a massive difference through use of technology. Case study based in South Asia facilitated by London based partners)
• SpaceHive (speaker TBC): the UK’s dedicated crowdfunding platform for places (citizens-led urban regeneration)
•Nicolas Fonty, justMap
•Dr. Steve Lorimer, Smart London Strategy and Delivery Office GLA Greater London Authority (community engagement and digital technologies in the GLA, the tech innovator community, and the investment community).
• Priya Prakash, Design for Social Change Ltd (Citizens engagement platform)
• Tom Saunders, Senior Researcher, NESTA (Public and Social Innovation, Policy & Research).

Invited Non HE speakers (Community Groups):
• Living under one sun: Neighbourhood Resource Centre in Tottenham, London
• Ban private Cars in London  (Rosalind Readhead)
• Crystal Palace Neighbourhood Forum (Francis Bernstein)
• justSpace (Richard Lee)
• Take back the city  (Rachael Okiya)
Participant Bios

 Darshana Chauhan

Darshana is an urban designer and architect with varied experience of working and managing projects based in the UK, India, Bhutan and Nigeria. She has worked for private and public-sector organisations and is a visiting lecturer at the University of Westminster for the M.A. Urban Design and International Planning Courses. She currently works for London Borough of Hackney as a Senior Design Officer. Her professional works cover masterplanning to furniture design and more recently are geared towards spatial analytics and GovTech projects. Darshana is the founder of the Westminster Design Competition (South Asia) which was set up in 2012 in collaboration with the National Association of Students of Architecture and more recently Massive Small (100 public spaces : 150 days : 42 cities : how to scale up small bottom up approaches to make a massive difference through use of technology). The design competition is open to undergraduate architecture students in South Asia and has seen over 2000 students from over 90 Universities participate from over 40 cities. Inspired by the Clean India mission, the competition has evolved as a ‘design and build’ challenge to bring together the energy of young creative minds and local communities to ‘Transform 100 public spaces’ across South Asia.  The design challenge is a live example of scaling up the impact of ‘Small’ changes to make a ‘Massive’ difference at a regional level while using technology as a tool to coordinate and amplify the impact of the work.

Simo Ciocoiu

Simona Ciocoiu is a London based interaction designer with a background in graphic design and motion graphics. During her time with the Intel Collaborative Research Institute she has helped tell the story of the ongoing research, through infographics and other collateral, as well as assisting with the design and production of enclosures for deployments and demos. Previously, she completed the MA Interaction Design Communication program at London College of Communication.

Sarah Gallacher

Dr. Sarah Gallacher is a Research Scientist in Urban IoT at Intel Labs Europe. She is also a member of the Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Urban IoT and through this, has been working in partnership with University College London, Imperial College London and Future Cities Catapult to realise an Urban Internet of Things “Living Lab” in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The living lab provides a real-world testbed for IoT solutions at scale, to show their potential to solve urban challenges and explore economic, environmental and social impacts. Her current research work includes the development of IoT smart bat monitors to measure bat activity in the Olympic Park as an indicator of environmental health. Previously Sarah was a Senior Research Associate at University College London where her research focused on human-computer interaction, looking at the cross-over between IoT solutions and citizen engagement. Her previous work has been show-cased as interactive installations in public venues across Europe including Somerset House, The Southbank Centre, The Young Vic Theatre and the Phaenomenale (Wolfsburg, Germany) where her work was shortlisted for the 2015 Human Interface Awards.

Muki Haklay

Muki Haklay is Professor of Geographic Information Science at UCL. His research interests include public access to environmental information and the way in which the information is used by a wide range of stakeholders, citizen science and in particular applications that involve community-led investigation, development and use of participatory GIS and mapping, and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) for geospatial technologies. He is the co-director of the Extreme Citizen Science group (ExCiteS) and work on a range of research projects that involve participatory mapping and science methods.

Stephen Lorimer

Dr Stephen Lorimer is the Smart London Strategy and Delivery Officer at the Greater London Authority. He develops the Mayor of London’s policies and programmes in smart cities and the strategic transformation of city services using digital technologies. He is the programme manager for the forthcoming London Office of Technology and Innovation, a new vehicle for digital collaboration between the GLA, London Councils and the London Boroughs. It will establish new digital governance for London, promote common standards, and foster open innovation. He was the lead developer of The Future of Smart, a review of how smart city technologies engage Londoners and enable good growth when the city works with innovators. He was a co-author of Digital Master Planning, An Emerging Strategic Practice in Global Cities, a study of how cities around the world plan for amplification of existing investments in infrastructure, improved government services, and economic development through sustained, incremental innovation in digital technology. Before working for the Mayor of London, he worked in consultancy and academia. He managed the Sustainable Society Network for the RCUK Digital Economy Programme, commissioning studies in how technology solves societal challenges. His doctoral and post-doctoral work on big data, energy, and city life spanned the architecture, planning, spatial analysis, and transport studies centres at UCL. His work as a consultant to local authorities in the UK, France, and Ireland ranged from urban design in masterplans to policy work for housing and conservation standards and design.

Clare Melhuish

Dr Clare Melhuish is Senior Research Associate and Co-Director in the UCL Urban Laboratory, where she has conducted comparative research on university-led urban regeneration to inform UCL’s plans for the development of a new campus in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (UCL East). She is an anthropologist specialising in architecture and the built environment, including Modern Movement architectural heritage and social identity; domestic space and cultures; ethnographic research and urban design and regeneration; and the ethnography of architectural design practice. Prior to joining the Urban Lab she was Research Associate in Geography at The Open University on the ESRC-funded project ‘Architectural atmospheres: the role of digital visualising technologies in contemporary architectural practice’, which involved a multi-sited ethnography of urban design practice in London and Doha; and co-developer of the cross-disciplinary research project Caribbean Urban Aesthetics at the OU. She has also worked extensively outside academia as an architecture critic, author and curator.


Alan Penn

Prof Alan Penn is the Dean of the Bartlett faculty of the Built Environment, a HEFCE Business Fellow and a founding director of  Space Syntax Ltd,  a UCL knowledge transfer spin out with a portfolio of over 100 applied projects per year, including whole city masterplans, neighbourhood development plans and individual buildings. He is a member of the Space Group, an EPSRC Platform funded research group. He was the Chair of the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning sub-panel 16 and a member of Main-panel C for the Research Excellence Framework 2014. He is Principal Investigator on the £5m five year EPSRC funded Digital Economy Hub: UK Regions Digital Research Facility. His research focuses on understanding the way that the design of the built environment affects the patterns of social and economic behaviour of organisations and communities.

Priya Prakash

Priya Prakash is founder of London-based award-winning Design for Social Change (D4SC). Her focus is improving public infrastructure planning and development in real time, by combining big data with active citizen engagement. D4SC’s Changify and Citizen Canvas platforms have been piloted in the UK and Europe with plans for rollout in south-east Asia. She is on Tech City Insider 100, IBM’s People for Smarter Cities and has featured in The Financial Times, The Sunday Times, BBC, Wired and The Guardian. Before D4SC, Ms Prakash led the global design team as head of mobile phone user experience at Nokia. At the BBC, she was lead designer and co-inventor of iPlayer with joint patents.

Victoria Readhead

Victoria has a creative background in Fine Art and she has worked as a freelance Textile Designer. In 2014, Victoria started her campaign Ban Private Cars in London. She set up a simple wordpress blog and began writing a Manifesto. She then stood as an Independent London Mayoral Candidate in 2016 to open up the debate on the car problem in London and call for radical change on the streets of London by prioritising walking cycling and public transport. She engaged in debate across traditional media and social media platforms and at Hustings.

Twitter and Facebook have enabled her to network online and connect with other campaign groups across the globe. She often meets those contacts offline so she can engage on another level face to face. Her campaign is both local and global; as cities around the world collaborate on grassroots initiatives that address some of the most profound issues of our time: pollution, climate change and the obesity health epidemic. Victoria uses data from online sources to enhance her campaign. She also initiate her own data. The recent data was the result of a Freedom for Information request to Transport for London.

Gabriela Uchoa

Fellow at the Organization of American States in Open Government in the Americas. Msc in Smart Cities and Urban Analytics (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Bartlett School/University College London), PGDip in Design Practices in Architecture and Planning (Federal University of Piauí, Brazil), and BSc in Architecture and Planning ( Federal University of Pernambuco). She has experience in Architectural Practice, Urban Planning, Public Administration and Data Analysis. She was a lecturer at UFPI (BRA) and Uninovafapi (BRA), in the courses of Urban Legislation, and Social Housing. For the last 6 years she has been working as urban planner at the municipal government of Teresina (BRA), where now she is in charge of the implementation of Teresina Agenda 2030, the local sustainable development plan to meet the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda. In that strategy, theyare implementing the Observatory of the Sustainable Development of Teresina (Observatório da Agenda 2030), and the Teresina Urban Lab, to empower citizens to monitor public policies and contribute towards city development through active participation.

 Saffaron Wood

Saffaron Wood is a Research Associate at the Institute for Global Prosperity at UCL. She leads the Institute’s research on developing new models and measures of sustainable local prosperity in East London. She has conducted extensive academic and applied fieldwork with communities and built environment professionals engaged in large-scale urban development and regeneration programmes. She is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at UCL, where her research focuses on London’s Olympic regeneration legacy and new communities. Saffron co-founded of Social Life, a social enterprise established to examine how local communities are affected by urban development and regeneration. See eg and


Living Under One Sun promoting community development and empowerment, job creation and healthy living, including protection of Tottenham marshes from inappropriate development;