The Bristol Approach to Participatory Sensing

How can crowd sensing interventions scale up beyond short-lived pilot interventions? How can they be citizen-centred, sustainable and inclusive rather than a technology push? Together with KWMC and Bristol City Council, we have developed a new framework for running inclusive, sustainable and scalable, community-driven digital projects that involve sensor technologies.

As explained by KWMC in the project’s websiteBristol has an innovative and expanding digital industry and is committed to becoming a ‘smart city’, where digital technologies are used to connect people and organisations, and improve communication, business and quality of life for everyone. 

In this context we have developed The Bristol Approach: a way of working that ensures that any new technologies developed address the needs and priorities of the people who will use them, particularly in communities that are in danger of ‘being left behind” or excluded.

We believe that using the methods of The Bristol Approach will enable technologists, businesses, artists and local people to work together to address relevant community issues using digital tools. People will also develop new skills and shape their neighbourhoods in the process.

The Approach is a guide to delivering projects that use sensor technologies.  These projects can range from gathering and sharing data in order to monitor radiation levels in the environment to using applications that augment a mobile phone (using its existing functions to expand what it’s technically capable of).  However, the principles of the Approach are relevant to other projects too.

Find out more

For more detailed information about the framework download The Bristol Approach booklet.

If your community has an issue or challenge that you think sensor technology could help to tackle, please contact Makala on 0117 903 0444.  If you are interested in working with us to develop technical solutions or manufacture casings for new sensor technologies please contact Carolyn.

– See more at:

– See A Future in Common Report

About Mara Balestrini

Mara Balestrini is Human Computer Interaction (HCI) expert and technology strategist.

One comment

  1. Pingback: [Bristol] Support our Change Creators | The order of bits

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