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How to create a smart city? Co-creation of a smart city with citizens

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Last Updated: 2-2015

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The smart city can be used to solve demographic transition and urbanization. Additionally, the quality of life and economic performance can be enhanced by a smart city. A smart city does not only invest in technology, but also in human and social capital and aims to achieve this by co-creation in social innovation. The idea is to work together with citizens to solve their needs. A conceptual model based on literature summarizes what the smart city precisely entails. Technology should not be leading, as it will advance nonetheless and is a means to an end. The real end is addressing the needs of end-users, citizens in the case of smart city development. The hook model by Eyal (2013) forms the basis of the model and the rest of the analysis. This model is translated to smart city development by co-creation with citizens with open data from Buurtmonitor Eindhoven (2015). The willingness to participate is calculated; a score that is a rating for neighborhoods on its suitability for smart city development from the citizen’s perspective. Strijp-S is used as a case study and has the ambition to become a smart city by co-creation with stakeholders. A GIS analysis revealed that the neighborhoods Rochusbuurt, Looiakkers, and Schoot, are the most suited neighborhoods for the start of a smart city development project by co-creation with citizens. For Strijp-S not enough data was available to calculate the willingness to participate. The first System Dynamics model on co-creation and the first System Dynamics model that takes the hook model as a foundation have been developed. It is found that the main ways to influence the co-creation project in a positive way are: education and training, increasing control by participants to ensure ownership of projects, enabling accomplishments to be achieved, and encouraging media to have attention for accomplishments. Three recommendations for Strijp-S are given. Firstly, Strijp-S should continue its development on smart cities as the unique possibility that presents itself should not be wasted. Secondly, more interaction with other neighborhoods should be sought to increase the potential participants and to create more scalable solutions. Schoot is recommended as a neighborhood to cooperate with. Finally, the project should follow the main ways to positively influence co-creation discussed above.

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