Open Source Urbanism

CivicTechUrbanThe mutations not only do changes affect the economic and relational realm, but they are being, with growing pervasiveness, transferred to the physical realm, as regards physiognomy and physiology of the cities, intelligent. However, a smarter city is not the one whose traditional organization boasts the most intelligent and efficient technology, but the city that profoundly alters the development dynamics and revisits its housing and mobility patterns rethinking its metabolism through efficient urban cycles. Increasing the infrastructural smartness is not sufficient, as cities ought to endeavour to increase the rate of collective intelligence, by supporting, via cloud communiting, virtuous behaviour from the bottom and raising the profile of a new way to understand urbanism displaying its individual and collecting benefits. Smart communities are increasingly characterise by platforms for service whose value lies in the offered facilities considered useful by the users, which in turn translate them into additional services to other users. A sort of mutual complicity is therefore important between the platform and the value-adding users, which can be implemented provided the platform/user relationship is “transparent”, “open” and “authentic” hence included in the new citizenship pact.
Open Data and Big Data management is not limited to the administrative sphere or to decision-making processes, but requires the traditional urban planning’s cognitive model to be revised. It requires us not only to modify the protocols on which we base the plan’s knowledge, but also to create new planning instruments. Hence, the first forms of Open-source Urbanism (Sassen, 2011). We should therefore begin to outline it and experience its practices in order to identify the main application protocols. We find ourselves in a smarter dynamic and innovative context therefore. Above all, it is shared and open, and ought to be also more “senseable”, aware and responsible. A proper Cloud Governance, not to be turned into a new mantra however: it ought to cooperate with leaderships and technocracies, with the directors and planners of the change, the actors in the transformation and the civil society to understand the extent to which the issue of openness and transparency involve their organizations, be it businesses, institutions, communities or universities. And there is more: the effort needed to follow this path, which leaves no room for alibis or laziness.
Planning in the information cloud age requires new maps, new sensors to detect obstacles, new tools for tracking the direction, but especially new eyes to not lose sight of the horizon.

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