Civic mapping and network building for a fair and inclusive city
Update: we'll have notes and ideas for action following on from this event early in April
City Hall have launched a “listening exercise” to help the Chief Digital Officer Theo Blackwell and his Board fulfil the Mayor's aim of making London the world's leading Smart City. We believe that a Smart City should also be a Networked City, where community-led mapping, technology and network-building combine to address social isolation and ensure an inclusive, fair society in a rapidly-changing world.
Over the past year we have explored the idea of Networked City as a smart city that is sharing, participatory and inclusive. It's about connecting people using technology and also every other way in which we can support human interaction. Here's how Barcelona is addressing the challenge: Building the Networked City From the Ground Up With Citizens.
In the afternoon there were workshop sessions about different methods of mapping, and how to meet the challenges of engagement and inclusion in the digital, networked age.
In the evening we discussed how to develop one or more Communities of Practice (CoP) and networks to learn together about developing a more networked city, and how to input to consultation about Smart City London.
Before the event we started “mapping the mappers” so we had a map of who is doing what for the 27th, and the basis for a CoP and network.
Here's our poster describing making connections at different levels:
The March event was in part a response to the new London Smart City initiative, where the team have asked for input to their current "listening exercise". We believe it is important that civil society organisations and citizens can contribute their perspective to plans that currently focus mainly on public and private sectors.
In particular we believe that digital technology can support methods to map local assets, connect Londoners, support creative collaborations, enable citizen-led action, and address social isolation. We've focussed on these opportunities over the past year in our Networked City exploration - and argued that they should feature more prominently official plans for civil society infrastructure.
The March event was also an opportunity to bring together different methodologies that support our approach: on the one hand social network mapping and analysis, on the other using geographic mapping as a participatory cartographic tool for exploring less tangible social infrastructure, place making, community engagement and empowerment.
We are also combining our ideas for a Community of Practice in which civic change agents can learn from each other how to undertake mapping, and to use this and other methods for community building in localities, and networks.
We'll be running further events for the Community of Practice, and developing an online collaboration platform.
133 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 7DG
1400-1730: workshop and mapping exercises
1730-1830 networking and refreshments
1830-2100 panel discussion with speakers about Smart City, Connecting Londoners and civic mapping plus some group work.