Newly published videos from the PERIPHERIA-project
The overarching objective of the Periphèria project – an initiative funded as part of the European Union’s “Smart Cities” portfolio of projects –is to deploy an open platform for the promotion and enhancement of sustainable lifestyles in and across networks of “Smart” peripheral Cities in Europe. As developed in the project’s 30 months of activites, innovation processes leading to sustainable behaviours unfold in city “Arenas”, where the specific features of a street, a square or another typical urban setting lead to the definition of useful and innovative services that correspond to concrete needs.
At the heart of the Arena concept is the focus on People in Places: people – rather than abstract concepts of functions and needs, and places – in the sense of real city settings with specific urban roles and meanings. ThePERIPHÈRIA project validated this concept in archetypal Arena settings in each of six pilot cities: Smart Neighbourhood in Malmoe (SE), Smart Street in Bremen (DE), Smart Square in Athens (GR), Smart Museum and Park in Genoa (IT), Smart City Hall in Palmela (PT), and Smart Campus in Milan (IT).
See the videos from the Peripheria-project here.
Key to Periphèria’s “frugal solution” approach to technologies is that people stay at the centre of the entire process, from problem identification to service delivery. No longer are citizens seen as passive receptors of city services, “using” a bus or a library or a football field, they rather become an active part of the service itself, signalling a refuse bin ready to be collected, helping maintain a city park clean and safe, or reaching out to those in need.
From the PERIPHÈRIA experience, a new vision arises that builds on the work to date in the Smart Cities movement and enriches it with the human perspective as can only be gained through the citizen-centric Living Lab approach. Indeed, it is becoming clear that “smartness” alone – sensors, meters, infrastructures – risks placing the citizen outside of the process, as a user who never takes the kind of ownership of the services that can only be ensured by engagement in their codesign from the very start. The concept developed in PERIPHÈRIA is built on complementary “human” features of “smartness” such as clarity of vision, citizen empowerment, participation, etc. leading to the vision of a Human Smart City.
To carry forward the Periphèria model, the Human Smart Cities Manifesto, launched at the final conference, sets out the principles for building a global network of cities committed to the principles of citizen-centric co-design of sustainable city solutions.