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Responsible Urban Digitization (AMS Institute)

New digital tools and technologies, such as the use of big data, distributed sensor networks, artificial intelligence and robotics, can help solving the city’s most pressing urban challenges. And what about the public and democratic values involved?

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Tech can improve the quality of life in the city and enhance sustainability, livability, plus citizen engagement and empowerment.

We research, develop and integrate advanced and novel ICT and data science technologies to improve the quality of life in the city and work on solving urban challenges.

Simultaneously we research the central values for society and citizens on topics arising from these new tools and technologies, such as autonomy, privacy, transparency, inclusiveness and empowerment.

The three main domains we focus on:

  1. ICT and data technologies for urban challenges
  2. Smart governance and citizen engagement
  3. User- and Citizen-Centric Design.

ICT & Data Technologies for Urban Challenges

Within the first domain, research, development and integration of these new technologies with dynamic sensor networks (AI, big data, open data, crowd sourcing and robotics) are performed to improve city operations and planning. It can help with collection, analysis and optimization of critical city operations and services to take care of roads or bridges, for instance.

Operating and maintaining infrastructure assets (e.g. roads, bridges, parks, public green, buildings, waterways, sewers, public lighting, parking places, sidewalks, waste collection). This domain also addresses the improvement of public safety for navigation or in crowds and overall livability. And it enables regulation and inspection of traffic, parking, housing and pollution. Making new, larger and diverse urban data sets accessible and easy to use affords improved the city and spatial planning process in terms of quality and cost.

Smart Governance & Citizen Engagement

The focus of citizen engagement and ultimately smart governance are made possible with new ICT technologies and tools that are the subject of this domain. Citizens in large groups can have a say in city operations and planning by crowdsourcing. More effective and adequate problem-solving from local government is possible. Citizens impact on policy and decision making is an important research and innovation topic. Where the public, private partners and citizens have diverse interests, the governments and organizations still oversee distribution of responsibility, authority and control.

User & Citizen-Centric Design

The domain of human-centric design explores the requirements for new ICT tools & technologies in terms of designed so that it truly benefits the end users and citizens and not only city or industrial stakeholders. Usually, new ICT with clear benefits for the city is implemented to improve city operations or services, yet the implications for the end-user and citizen are overlooked. Moreover, recent and strong concerns about the legitimacy and privacy of ICT tools and technologies collecting personal data become more relevant to research and design to integrate principles into these innovative approaches. Cities are to follow democratic principles when it comes to sharing personal data in the private and public domain to safeguard societal values.

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Header image: Responsible Urban Digitization by AMS Institute.jpg

Icon image: Responsible urban digitization.png

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