I spent the day at Imperial College Business School as part of a Design London and Living Labs Global event to bring together the tech and public sectors to talk about connected cities and to launch the Living Labs Global report Connected Cities Handbook – “a book about opportunity and frustration” (Sasha Haselmayer)

The day was a mix of talks (mine is here), discussion sessions and elevator pitches: a great poem from TfL (on Design London website soon) and itiner.pl real time traffic info looked interesting (on living labs global showcase site). Below are my notes and points of interest.

Nick Leon – introduced Connected Cities education programme, an initiative between Design London at the RCA and Imperial College London and Living Labs global. The 3 day course introduces mechanisms for service providers to take ideas from concept to living lab to market place. Subjects covered include: well connected cities, transforming public services, the city as a system of systems, from idea to pilot to early market, true public private partnerships for innovation, innovation and new business models.

Dominique Laousse – RATP / Prospective and Innovative Design – “The mobility cocktail” how to make sense of the ubiquity of the mobile both from human ethology and urban ecology. Chronosapiens, promiscuity of the crowd, beta-city, wikipolis, metapolis. Trains, trams, buses in RATP for 30% of travelers it is their primary place to read – do we design for this? project Future en Seine – Re-enchant every day trips – leaving a trace, a narrative. project Musetrek – re-discover trip pleasure – info on stations? projects Social freight – with MIT – low cost delivery of small packages by existing travellers for elders, workers, ….

Andrew Davies & Lars Frederiksen – Innovation Mgt and Sustainable Cities

Case study of work with Arup on learnings from developing an eco city – Dongtan – shifting from industrial age to ecological age approach.

Erkko Autio – Prof. Qinetiq EPSRC Chair in tech transfer and entrepreneurship.

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor – mapping relationship between early stage entrepreneurship against GDP – interesting clusters of geographic regions.

“Entrepreneurship happens in cities”

Panel discussion.

Stephen Dodson DC10Plus

Victoria Thornton Open House London

Micael Gustafsson Oresund IT

Questions and observations floating around the room at the end of the day.

What is the most successful application of technology in the fabric of the city?

We need brave CIO’s who are prepared to push technology to solve problems?

Why is there a mismatch between the concepts being shown in the demos / elevator pitches and what we see in our local cities?

Are the leaders in local authorities empowered, accountable to their constituents, capable of delivering the kinds of systems being pitched.

Photos of the day are on flickr