Although there is not one clear definition to the term “smart city”, the range of the issue is clear: In cities around the world will live a bigger percentage of the world population – from 3.3 billion residents in cities today, to 6.3 billion, or 66% of the world’s population by the year 2050. This simple fact emphasizes the growing burden on city infrastructure, and the wide range of issues which are to be expected (transportation, sanitation, pollution, social inequality, personal safety) due to an increase in urban density. This challenge demands a smart and effective management of resources and activity.
One of the aspects helping cities become “smart” – is the ability to improve the decision-making process on the base of existing information. Many technologies are developed in order to allow decision-makers to get quantitative data on performance in different fields – that is one side of the story. The other side is qualitative data – that which is not located in one place. The ability of the city to think together and create, together with its residents, the “wisdom of the city” can create both the best decisions for the city and higher involvement of residents in city life.
Here are a few of the examples of fields and processes where we already helped:
Tel Aviv’s City Hall managed a consultation process with the youth of the city in regards to implementing youth policy and around the setting up the youth club in Mazeh 9 street. Over 10,000 replies allowed the city to understand how best to build to activity in the youth centre.
Jerusalem’s City Hall used Insights platform in order to build a city-wide policy in regard to young families. We held the consultation process with the young families themselves on the ways city hall can improve services from education, through infrastructure all the way through to leisure. The consultation ended with a shared conference with city administrators from different departments and the insights from the process await the City’s CEO decisions.
During 2014 we assisted Tel Aviv city hall with leading a consultation process on the planning of three community centres: in Dov Huz street, in Ramat Aviv and in Jaffa. In Dov Huz for example, using the consultation process with over 2,000 residents posted by city hall, in December 2014, the idea of the community centre was realized. This would be used as a pilot for a new model of a community centre, actively pursuing the strengthening of the community as the central aspect of the neighbourhood. The end of the process is with the writing of the planning paradigm which is based on the insights from the consultation process.
Kfar Saba’s City Hall managed the entirety of the waste separation process, with its residents. From thinking together about how to encourage recycling and on to personal feedback to every resident based on data from their building.
In Tel Aviv, over 2,000 residents in the neighbourhoods of Nave Eliezer and Livne, were chosen to lead the recycling revolution in Tel Aviv. City hall approached them In order to understand how to make the residents of those neighbourhoods to separate their waste. An important insight that came up during the process was the importance of support from the religious leadership of the neighbourhood in creating change.
Austin used the Insights platform to approach the hundreds of thousands of city residents, accompanied by an intensive campaign to increase the recycling percentages which haven’t changed for years. Austin is leading their consultancy website independently, with our assistance from everything from opening the website, and to processing the insights.
Kfar Saba is the first city we worked with. Insights technological platform helped them create a city-wide leisure policy in a process that started from building results with the managers of the culture, youth and sports department, later with its employees and with the entire city.
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