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Colaborative Design for the wellbeing in smart inclusive cities

The "Inclusive Smart Cities: a European Manifesto on Citizen Engagement" promoted by the European Comission discusses the development of projects and solutions for smart cities. It considers that an essential part of such initiatives ought to focus on the needs of citizens, creating designs for them and in the quest for an increase of the quality of the daily living.

This quality of the daily living is the main issue in this proposal. A major issue is that people with disabilities understand quality in a different way than other citizens. There are no major plans that deal with the augmentation of our cities with technology to improve the quality and welbeing of the citizens, specially including the previously cited ones. Even more, there are no discussions on how to reach those goals together. Citizens can help to define better what they will value more as an improvement, how to describe it and help to develop, and deploy it. To tackle those problems, the project proposes a citizen centric process that conforms RRI (Responsible Research & Innovation) principles. The proposal is based upon two pillars:

  • the creation of mechanisms for massive citizen engagement towards the definition and enactment of inclusive smart cities. They would identify what improvements in the quality of the daily living are to be pursued and which ones have a greater impact.
  • The detailed analysis in the consequences of the alteration of behaviors and resources of the population to know in advance how they affect their lives and environment. This would allow to quickly discard solutions against the interest of the citizens, specially for people with special needs, or that may not be sustainable

Both pillars require processes and tools of massive collaboration for the stakeholders. These mechanisms have to combine effectively the discussion around problems, solutions, characteristics, and results. The construction of the second pillar also needs tools for realistic simulation of the daily living of people with different life situations and locations, e.g., within houses or large installations.

Simulation also needs to include the smart city solution that will be developed and how it interacts with citizens.

The project will work within these pillars promoting the citizen involvement into debates about how to improve the situation of the elderly people. This collective shows an important percentage of neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Parkinson or Alzheimer) and movement/sensing problems.

The experiments of the mechanisms and methods with real citizens will influence the project itself to create new simulations and improve the tools. Each experiment will introduce a set of elements that will describe concrete elements of the daily living that are of interest for the citizens and what expectations they have with respect the proposed solution. These elements will be described using simulations. This will allow to quickly disseminate results so that citizens can provide again feedback. The early generation of these simulations will be assisted by a multidisciplinary team of experts (social scientists, a social worker, and two health science experts, one expert in communication).

The initial scenarios that will be addressed are related with the elderly and people with functional diversity. Those scenarios will be: help a person with disorientation in a city; and evaluate the accesibility of a facility for people with functional diversity.

KEY WORDS: Inclusive Smart Cities, AAL, Virtual Living Lab, Colabortive Design, Functional diversity, Inclusive, RRI, H2020

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