Cities of Knowledge Conference

Attended the morning session of the one day Digital Cities conference held today at Clontarf Castle.

I got to see Jon Udell and John Ratcliffe speak in the first session. Jon talked about governments (local and national) need to make the raw data available in consumable format (RSS, CSV, XML etc.) so that citizens can do their own analysis. To this end he gave several examples of online data analysis tools that combine rich graphical analysis with social networking features. The three he specifically mentioned were,

  • Many Eyes from IBM (The usual all singing all dancing stuff)
  • Swivel (Spreadsheet analysis of CSV data)
  • Dabble DB a more full featured online database

I pointed out in a question that the Irish government is good at collecting data but not good at sharing it. His response was get the citizens to supplant the government by creating their own data sets in social networks and the tools above.

John Ratcliffe’s talk was more of a traditional lecture, he tried to cram a lot into his 30 minutes, but he had some great slides on structural models for the development of Ireland as an Island.

He is not a fan of decentralisation calling it the ADB policy (Anywhere But Dublin), I kind of agree with that. Dublin is the capital and the largest population centre, you can’t ignore that.

We then had presentations from a collection of city representatives. See if you can guess who is playing catch up in this list.

Tallinn – Toomas Seep – City Office

  • We need common language
  • Population – 400,000
  • Half Estonian GDP comes from Tallinn
  • 1m ID cards issued (including 230,947 foreigners)
  • Central Registers, X-Road exchange between registers
  • 52% have internet
  • 62% use internet banking
  • 80% send in tax declarations electronically (These numbers don’t add up!)
  • Want to develop Electronic City Hall, Selected services 24×7, Local government transparency, back office integration
  • Free wireless access in public spaces (parks, squares, beaches)
  • M-Parking: pay for parking via mobile network, 60% of revenue comes from M-Parking
  • ID-Ticket : Virtual transportation ID for all public transport, 120,000 users per day
  • Digital Document processing via Internet
  • City council sessions on web via video and audio
  • All council meetings held in public and publically accessible on the web
  • All legal acts online on register
  • E-School: All reports and marks are online
  • eVoting used universally, no security issues! (Shurely, shome mishtake, ed)

Joan Batelle – Barcelona

  • 1.6m inhabitants
  • Problems – nCounters problem, duplicated paperwork
  • Move to multi-channel services with one-stop-shop approach
  • EU public sector generates 40% of EU GDP
  • Need more “energetic government”
  • Put citizen at the centre
  • Go mobile
  • Don’t automate: re-engineer and innovate
  • Execute and deliver and deliver
  • CRM = Citizen Relationship Management
  • Minor work permit requests processed in 1 week (as opposed to 1 to 4 months)

Paul Krutko – Chief Development Office, San Jose (US)

  • Capital of Silicon Valley
  • 10th largest city in US, 3rd largest in CA after San Diego and LA
  • One third of all the VC in the US lands in Silicon Valley
  • Development requires a “Vital Community”
  • Open Government – Streaming of council meetings, all officials calendars online
  • All documents to be discussed must be posted online two full weeks before the discussion meeting
  • Solar Technology
  • Creative intersection of Art and Technology : ZeroOne
  • Make traffic management network available to public as a network backbone
  • Place ranks higher than job for the first time with US college graduates
  • The World is spiky, and those spiky places are sticky for people
  • Creative Artistic endeavour is an indicator of great business endeavour within cities and states

Peter Finnegan – Dublin City Council, Head of International Relations and Research

  • : A citizens portal, delivered in 3 months
  • New telephone focussed customer service centre
  • Mapping of city facilities
  • Exploring putting planning applications online
  • Using mobile phone to gather feedback
  • Vodafone and TomTom collaborating to track traffic congestion
  • Cities need to attract knowledge workers
  • A city with conectivity will be at an advantage
  • Need to create spaces for social knowledge creation (both physical and virtual)
  • The issue is vision, leadership and courage, not technology (hear, hear!)
  • Every city needs a Futures IT strategist
  • When imagination collides with reality then creativity arrives especially if leadership clears the space

Stephen O’Brien – Liverpool, eGovernment Project Manager

  • Population : 440,000
  • Historically a seaport, now economy is more diverse
  • From seaport to ePort
  • 1999 : Highest rates, poor service provision
  • Worked on joint venture with BT
  • Golden Numbers – Each service has its own “Golden Number” to measure service delivery
  • Focus on point of contact resolution of citizen queries
  • Mobile contiguous WIFI network in city centre (Free?)
  • Looking at ways to roll WIFI out across the city

Ina Olinki – City of Helsinki (Sorry Ina, could only guess the spelling of your name)

  • Population 450,000
  • Biggest employer in Finland
  • One of the top ten growing metropolises in Europe
  • Part of a triumvirate of cities with Tallinn and St. Petersburg (Leningrad)
  • Living Lab: development environment to test services in a live community
  • Forum Virium: Create internationally competitive digital services
  • Rabbit infestation is a problem in Helsinki (non indigenous species). Used website to communicate the problem and gather feedback
  • How can you ensure that peoples opinions count?

Dermot Harrigan, Martin McGinity Derry City Council

  • Second largest city in NI
  • Broadband flagship project for NI
  • Wireless enabling of Council offices
  • Electronic document and record management
  • Wireless campus on University of Ulster
  • Wireless Walls : WIFI mesh over the walls of Derry

One thought on “Cities of Knowledge Conference

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.