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Real Smart Cities

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ReaLsMs (Real Smart Cities)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2022-05-31

The Real Smart Cities theoretical thread has been weaving itself for almost 5 years and represents an example of contributory research carried out by researchers from various disciplines and countries. It has been contributory research in constant progress, a conceptual experimentation with iterations in action overtime, in which the contributions of each discipline have been entangled with the contributions of others, manifesting not a flat harmony or homogeneity, but precisely a heterogeneity and a metastable balance. In this sense, the results of the research are awaiting further reflection at another level as theoretical experimentations in the epistemological, aesthetic, ecological, juridical, clinical, ethical and political fields.The overarching objective of the ReaLsMs was to develop and implement a perspective on the Smart City through critical humanities research and innovation in the context of Digital Studies.Bring a new perspective to the Smart City and Data City from Digital Studies that emphasises the articulation of the algorithmic process, human interaction with technology and different areas of knowledge development in order extend understanding of citizen capacity (WP1),to Illuminate the “black box” regarding Smart City technologies and Big Data for citizens to increase knowledge of and influence over data collection and subsequent use of data (WP2). To Experiment and introduce new forms of citizen participation in the Data City (WP3).With secondments and deliverables delayed throughout the COViD 19 pandemic the second reporting period saw the development of key philosophical concepts of locality, contributory research and contributory economy. The project became much more visible through its alliance with the internation.com group and the development of the association for the friends of Greta Thunberg, this culminated in a press conference with the united nations in Jan 2020 and the publication of the collective work Bifurquer available through Open Humanities Press. Unfortunately, one of the key philosophers in the project, prof Bernard Stiegle passed away tragically in August 2020. Throughout the second reporting period, the conceptual framework of digital studies and smart cities moved towards the notion of local territory. This has lead to the development of a second MSCA SE project entitled Networking Ecologically Smart Territoires (NesT) which started in September 2021.
Over the last 54 months, the project has firmly established the Real Smart Cities network across all the partners of the consortium. Work carried out: 4 symposiums (ENMI preparatoires), 5 conferences (ENMI, Paris) 1 international exhibition (Guayaquil Archipelago), several workshops, seminars and training events, a collective (Internation), an association (Friends of Greta Thumberg), a memorandum to the United Nations, a film at the Venice Biennale, numerous books and peer-reviewed journal articles, 1 special Edition, 1 toolkit and several public engagement events. ReaLsMs has designed, implemented and delivered a set of transdisciplinary Digital Studies methods to contribute towards the outcomes of the (Real Smart City) project and to the scientific debate on Digital Studies and Urbanity to develop an alternative to the purely computational city. It has also fostered contributory economy development in which knowledge is collaboratively developed and shared with the public. It has facilitated complementary skills training in methodologies of data capture and annotation. The results emphasise the transdisciplinary nature of the Real Smart City and digital technology, extending means of engaging with technology in order to introduce new forms of citizen participation. It has developed the methodology of contributive research focussing on the participation of citizens in the co-design as well as participation in the research and research results. This methodology is framed with the question of contributive economy where the circular economy is explored within the conceptualisation of locality. The results have led to specific interventions with local populations in Ecuador, France and Ireland and the development of specific PhD topics for 10 Phd Candidates. and of further funding applications,complemented with a collaboration with the European University of Technology.ReaLsMs project has contributed to 3 ErasmusPlusStrategicPartnerships and two MSCA SE applications, to 2 new strategic partnerships, KA203 EThico and KA220 AesThetiCo and to Networking Ecologically Smart Territories (Grant number. 101007915).
The development of the methodology of contributory research as well as the development of a model for Territorial Experimentation of contributory research and the contributory economy. Impact in the facilitation of knowledge transfers through secondments. To the improvement of R&I potential within Europe and worldwide. ReaLsMs benefits the EU Research Area by contributing to the Innovation Union Initiative, fostering collaborations and strengthening partnerships between the public and private sectors and between European institutions and businesses. Placing emphasis on citizen‐led research it supported the dissemination of knowledge to strengthen democratic networks with locally and world‐wide.ReaLsMs correlates with the UN Sustainable Development Goal of sustainable cities and communities, urbanism, digital technology and citizen engagement.It has brought new perspectives to the smart city, including attention to the environmental impact of digital technology and how to use technology responsibly through sustainable practices within the city, with has immediate benefits for local governments, the cultural and creative industries and local business interests. The transferable skills affiliated with ReaLsMs has supported researchers in developing startup companies.Networks created through territorial experimentation, Public Fora and the creation and presentation of socially engaged art works with impact with the general public, as well as the creation of a Real Smart City infrastructure for Plaine Commune and DCC.The memorandum to the UN launched an international critical discussion on the set of theoretical and practical concepts towards Europe as an internation, understood as the agreement between localities to experiment and innovate with alternative economic paradigms capable of facing the challenges of the Anthropocene (climate collapse, mass migrations, loss of biodiversity etc..). This initiative further consolidated the work of the consortium, giving rise to Nest project (MSCA RISE Nest 101007915).
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