Smart Citizens in Smarter Cities

This seminar was organized by Delft Data Science in collaboration with AMS and BOLD Cities.

Citizens are a fundamental component for the success of the smart cities vision. The technology- centred narrative that has characterized the early years of the smart city debate, is now giving way to a more nuanced, citizen-centred approach, recognising that citizens are the lifeblood of the city ecosystem: by contributing to its existence and development, citizens have a privileged viewpoint over the status of the city, and can be considered to be the most accurate sensory receptors of the city’s nervous system. This actor-observant duality of people in urban environments is one of the key arguments to acknowledge the central place of citizens in the smart cities debate.

Many initiatives, have showed the potential of this paradigm shift in smart cities research and practice. On the other hand, experience shows that there are several problems and open issues that hamper the large-scale and sustainable transformation of citizens into smart citizens. How can citizens be empowered in the detection, analysis, and solution of modern urban challenges? How can public authorities support collective awareness, encourage social deliberation, and drive positive behavioural change? How can inclusive decision making processes be enabled that are also effective and sustainable? Which role can universities and private organizations play in this picture?

This seminar, organized as a collaboration between DDS, AMS, and BOLD Cities, is meant as a platform to discuss and explore the multi-actors and multidimensional nature that (smart) citizens play in the smart city debate. The goal is to understand and shape the evolution and further development of this topic of great societal relevance. The focus will be on state-of-the- art and the state-of-the-practice in smart citizens initiatives. It will feature a mixture of keynotes, and brainstorming sessions.

The seminar is inspired by the activities of the “From Needs to Knowledge” AMS project (

Invited speakers

Hester Volten (RIVM), Liesbet van Zoonen (Erasmus Univesity Rotterdam, BOLD Cities), Frank Kresin (Waag Society), Alessandro Bozzon (Delft University of Technology, AMS, BOLD Cities)