The open source city as the transnational democratic future | Transnational Institute

Interesting perspective on an open source operating system for a city (presented in contrast to the smart city concept):

The open source city clashes head-on with the paradigm of the smart city based on proprietary technology and mass surveillance, which prevails today. The smart city model created by the big multinationals sees the city’s data as a commercial product.

I don’t believe that the smart city concept precludes an open source model, but I agree that it is unlikely to happen without a focused effort spearheading the open source front.

The proposed model includes all sorts of aspects:

The model city proposed by Fuller and Haque seeks to open up its operating system’s code, which might be legal, architectural or information-based (data, content). The change is radical: the city would thus be transformed into a democratic artefact in every sphere. Citizens would be able to participate in the processes of constructing the city, managing its data or changing its laws, among other things. The city would cease to be an artefact designed from the top down and would become one that everyone can alter by means of certain bottom-up processes.

Instead of relying on sensors installed by the tech companies and a centralised and closed form of data management, the project saw each citizen as a potential data producer. Thanks to the proliferation of smart phones and the profusion of free technologies, each and every citizen can become a data-gatherer.

This is much easier said than done, unfortunately.

via The open source city as the transnational democratic future | Transnational Institute.