*Introduction video from the kick-off in Amsterdam.*
Cities face a scenario characterized by shrinking budgets, increasing demands of services from their citizens and the need to reinvent themselves in their quest to become Smart Cities. Simultaneously, the Internet brought new opportunities to orchestrate collaboration, fostering the creation of a large base of commons in code, user generated contents and even telecom infrastructures with the emergence of Bottom-up-Broadband networks. Cities have many times lacked the resources and mechanisms to take full advantage of this wealth.
However, organizations like Code for America are showing how they can effectively and successfully intermediate between citizens and cities and help in closing this gap. Commons4EU aims to build on the shoulders of this experience with an initial core team of 7 cities: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Helsinki, Manchester, Rome and UK-NESTA (UK cities involved in the project through NESTA) working together in 2 main areas:
1) Code Commons. Developing collaborative web projects following the methodology of Code for America based on principles rather than on sectors and by opening existing code in the participating cities and leveraging the European EPSI platform, following a certain model. They should:
- Be web/mobile applications.
- Enable cities to connect with their constituencies in ways that reduce administrative cost and engage citizens more effectively.
- Support the move toward transparency and collaboration.
- Be shareable, meaning that an application built for one city could be used by any other city.
2) Bottom-up-Broadband Commons. Exploring with users in real-life environments, new technologies like: Community networks, Sensor integration into wifi networks and fiber deployment as commons (both new techniques such as aerial as well as fiber bandwidth management)
The experience of the project will be capitalized giving birth to two pan European organizations: Code for Europe and BuB for Europe that will carry further on its endeavour.