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City Hackathons and Other Pastimes

Pablo Sánchez Chillón. Innovative Urban Planner and Founder of EOLEXCITYLAB offers readers a comprehensive view of the “City Hacking” movement. You may remember that MESH Cities founder Robert Ouellette was among the first city hackers launching the “TTC Website Challenge” in 2007 (and, of course, one of the first digital cities: “Virtual Metropolis-John Street”). Ouellette believes truly sustainable, responsive cities will be empowered by this type of citizen engagement. Chillón writes:

The addition of open data, open innovation, crowdsourced talented proposals and tailor made projects for municipalities (including stimulating activities for social engagement in the smart city) is giving form to some of the most interesting experiences about social engagement trough technology in cities, empowering citizens to help the city work better, demonstrating the value of Open Data and Open Government, giving citizens tools and information to understand the larger context in which they live, allowing people to use their skills for civic good and sparking innovation and new business startups. From the very beginning, and regarding the job of explaining the smart cities projects and encouraging social engagement in the sentient city, Hackhatons are proven to be of profit for cities and municipalities around the world, reinforcing the digital identity of the city and spreading the common understanding of connected territories, but most of the times, unfortunately, they end to huddle a bunch of geeks around a table, toiling away at code that may eventually win prizes–before it gets forgotten at the end of the event.



Read the whole story here.