How can citizens use technology to act at the civic level? How can data be used for the common good? How can people in Barcelona be more aware of their urban environment? These are some of the questions that we are trying to tackle through the Making Sense project, an EU funded initiative that is locally coordinated by the Fab Lab Barcelona, under the umbrella of the Fab City Research Lab.
We are using the open source infrastructure of Smart Citizen. A civic technology that includes a sensor kit and a data platform, which allow users to collect and share open data about phenomena such as temperature, humidity, noise, and air quality. The project will run three pilots where citizens will be invited to galvanise around urban environmental issues that they care about, and collaborate with experts and techies to effect positive change.
The first pilot, which we call ‘Beta Pilot’ (because it’s an opportunity to test our methodologies and technologies), was launched on the 5th of November, where around 85 people joined and used a commons target to track what they were willing to contribute to the project: from resources to time, skills, data, and connections to other communities of interest (such as neighbourhood associations and NGOs). They also mapped environmental issues that they knew of in different districts of Barcelona. A short summary is available here.