Smart citizen. About a project to invest in.


You still have 3 days to support the “Smart citizen” project by micro-financing it through the Goteo platform.

As it is explained at the Cosm (ex Pachube) blog:

Based in Barcelona, the project is a collaboration between the Institute for Advanced Architecture of CataloniaFab Lab Barcelona, and Hangar, an art research and production center in that city. Currently, the project is in the midst of an exciting phase: a crowdfunding project hosted on Goteo, which is analogous to a Spanish Kickstarter, though focusing solely on open source projects. Contribute here!
The technology behind Smart Citizen is straightforward: an Arduino-derived wireless system connected to a modular array with five sensors (ambient light, temperature, humidity, air quality, and sound). Data from the sensors within these Smart Citizen Kits are then posted to COSM to be openly collected and used in whatever way a developer can think of.
Because of the specific combination of sensors, the immediate applications of the Smart Citizen Kit will focus on monitoring environmental conditions within the city in which they are placed, helping to understand real-time conditions which can alert citizens to air and sound problems within a community.

There are many reasons why I consider that this is a project worth supporting. Apart from the individual uses, as someone interested in technology enhanced learning, I believe that investing in getting a set of these devices would be a fantastic idea for a school. You could assign sensors to groups of students and learn with them about environmental issues and how to develop more sustainable behaviors among families and communities. You can create a new concept for smart education, introduce them to the benefits of open hardware and software, open data and shared visualization.

I have already made my little investment to get one of the smart citizen kits. You don’t have to be based in Barcelona to use it or get it. Let’s support the creative work of the FabLab Barcelona and the Hangar, let’s invest a little bit on making cities smarter places ;)

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About Mara Balestrini

Mara Balestrini is a “cultural technologist” and a PhD candidate at the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities []. She believes that ubiquitous technologies can empower citizens to create in a collaborative way and transform society. In order to test this idea she has developed and collaborated in many projects across Latin America and Europe such as Taller de celumetrajes, an itinerant film school using mobile devices; MobilePOEMES3gp, an installation for digital citizen-generated poetry; MobileCells NOW, a user-generated mobile app to celebrate indie culture in Barcelona; or, a smart-education prototype to augment the physical space with the crowdsourced memories of the community, among others. Mara holds a BA in Audiovisual Communications, a postgraduate degree in Media Arts and a MSc in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media (UPF, Barcelona, Spain). Mara is a strategic planner at Ideas for change where she consults on Smart cities, citizen driven innovation and open business models. She also manages the digital communication of the We are not ants social innovation network. Since 2010, she is an advisor at CCCB Lab, Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona, where she consults on how to enhance expositions and participation using new technologies. She has worked as a digital and video journalist, has been a university lecturer and an assistant researcher at the Group of Interactive Technologies (GTI), at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, where she investigated on Human Computer Interaction, Ubicomp and Computing Supported Collaborative Learning. To read about Mara’s research project, visit:

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