Zaragoza Sources the Code to Citizen Co-Creation

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Co-creation workshop of the open mobility challenge “Bicisur”

Back in 2003, a group of local geeks and open source advocates met with Zaragoza’s future mayor Juan Alberto Belloch who, after being the last all-mighty minister of Justice and Interior in the last of prime minister Felipe González’s cabinet, was running for office for his second term. After a short immersion in the open source community, Belloch “fell instantly in love” with Linux philosophy and quickly made open source-based innovation one of the axes of his political campaign. His plans included turning the northeastern capital of the Spanish Aragón into the “Redmond of the European free software world,” for which purpose his team projected a 102-hectare innovation district, a city-wide free public wireless network and an ambitious campaign of digital literacy, with the city hall leading and paving the way by becoming one of the most advanced European administration in systems migration towards open source software. In an article appeared in Wired in May 2003 he declared “this open source battle might not be easy, but ‘open’ is the way it must be.” Sigue leyendo

Smart lighting, public space and urban innovation

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Photo by Carlo Ratti Associatti

The Italian magazine “Luce et Design” interviewed us for its April 2016 number. We talked about topics such as urban innovation strategies, smart lighting, digital art, public space and… refugees. We share a translation of the interview in English.

Luce Et Design: What was your training course?

I had my masters degree as a Telecom Engineer at the University of Zaragoza, back in 1997. After almost twenty years of practice I added to my training a masters degree in city sciences by the Politechnic University of Madrid.

LED: On which essential techniques and strategies did you base your intervention to turn Zaragoza into a Smart City?

Zaragoza’s implementation of its own unique Digital City model will at a particularly difficult time for the both city and its inhabitants have the concept of open source as its connecting theme: open data, free software, accessible networks and open government, meaning a truly transparent and participatory administration.

In addition to this, it shall have an open code architecture which gives rise to reconfigurable buildings (“open place making”), new digital public spaces that are made up of, used and reconfigured by the public itself; spaces where they exercise their participation, grow in knowledge and strengthen their digital links with the city. Sigue leyendo

“Live in a living city” Santander

El 21 de Enero de 2015 fuimos invitados a participar en el evento “Live in a Living City” que, desplazado a Santander, tuvo como hilo conductor la necesidad de “humanizar” el fenómeno de las “Smart Cities”.

Colaboración, comunidad, inclusión, accesibilidad, son sustantivos que encajan con una visión más humana de las ciudades inteligentes, como también encajan con el código abierto (“open source”, en inglés). Entender las ciudades por parte de sus ciudadanos, poder reconfigurarlas, reconstruirlas y reprogramarlas, son capacidades que también forman parte de una visión de la ciudad de código abierto, a la vez humanista, innovadora, creativa y generadora de riqueza.

Redes como WiZi, software como Azlinux y Vitalinux, procesos de construcción de ciudad como Open Urban Lab, edificios como el Pabellón del Agua Digital, comunidades como Zagales Hacklab o programas como “Colonia Etopia” o “Esto no es un solar” nos hablan de esta triple dimensión humana, innovadora y social y económicamente valiosa.

Los ejemplos anteriores son algunos de que Zaragoza puede aportar a esta particular forma de entender la estrategia de innovación de la ciudad. Una estrategia que apuesta por reforzar la identidad de la ciudad invirtiendo fundamentalmente en el talento local, con especial atención a los niños.

El vídeo del evento puede accederse aquí. (Nuestra intervención a partir de las 3h11′)

Nota: agradecemos al Ayuntamiento de Santander (José Antonio Teixeira, moderador de nuestro panel) y, especialmente, a Carlos Moreno, el haber contado con nosotros para este inspirador evento.