Collaborative cities can be great cities

Posted by Janice Scheckter on 24 September 2015 4:05 PM CAT

The concept of Connected Citizens is not new. It’s gone through multiple iterations over the years as to what it means. 

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Originally it was about citizens access to local government services with greater ease and efficiency, powered by technology. Today however, we at Indigo think a little differently about the connected citizen. For us the Connected Citizen is one who has access to individuals who share purpose and are able to collectively drive the specific agenda. Connected Citizens take control of their city. I’m not talking about kangaroo courts, but of citizen groups who drive positive change, possibly through their own resources, or private sector engagement or even public sector partnerships.

You know by now that we embrace and champion collaboration and fervently believe that without the ability to collaborative, we remain the recipients of public services good and bad with little ability to effect change.

Now don’t confuse Collaborative Cities with Smart Cities. A smart city uses digital technologies or information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance quality and performance of urban services, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to engage with its citizens, and that engagement doesn’t directly translate to collaboration.

Could a collaborative city transform a city? We believe it could. Imagine a place where neighbourhoods engage around their own private or “closed for Neighbours Only”  app on issues that matter like safe streets, a clean suburb, good walkways for pedestrians and designated cycle paths. Think about a platform where communities can engage on matters that count and through crowd sourcing, or “crowd solving” platforms find solutions where needed. Think of cities driven by multiple communities rather than citizens at the mercy of local government. These may be communities around business, around education, around safety and cleanliness. Communities in collaborative ecosystems often intersect and find the skills, talent and resource within the intersects to do better. 

I don’t know about you, but I’d love to live in a collaborative city.?





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