Technology or knowledge?
Technology is not a goal in itself, but is an ‘enabler’ in function of solutions for social challenges
In the first Smart City concepts, technology was the determining element, not accidentally formulated by the industry. The platforms and systems provided by major players are often beyond the financial means of a city with limited budgets. It has become obvious that new technology is not a means by itself, but an essential instrument to develop solutions for the future. It provides quite some opportunities for innovation, on condition that it allows to share the information and knowledge outside the technical platform.
"Technology allows to resolve ancient difficulties in our cities in an innovative manner"
Meanwhile, we notice that technology is not neutral. The form, the accessibility and the required skills to use this properly, will also determine the impact on citizens. Combined with the unpredictability of how citizens are using this technology for their proper purposes, the Smart Citizens concept was extended by the smart citizen, and issues as regards management, policy and participation in a smart city are coming to the surface.
In Ghent, we intend to insure that small players also have access to the technology and the networks. Even using inexpensive technology can produce smart results when addressing the offline networks and when making the data available to others.