Urban Participatory Sensing reloaded: Making Sense EU

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Photo credit: Waag Society 2016

As part of my PhD at the Intel ICRI Cities I have investigated how citizens harness the potential of crowd sensing tools – from mobile phones to IoT devices, to collect and share data that can help them address local issues. Some of these studies are described in publications like Beyond boundaries and IoT Community Technologies: Leaving Users to Their Own Devices or Orchestration of Engagement?

These investigations allowed me to work with a fantastic group of people at organisations such as Fab Lab Barcelona, Smart Citizen, Waag Society and Future Everything who are also looking at how open source collaborative technologies may contribute to a more participatory, engaged and active citizenship.

To join forces and continue working towards these goals, we have now launched Making Sense, an EU H2020 funded project that seeks to empower citizens through personal digital manufacturing applied to the design of environmental sensors. This consortium is formed by IAAC, Smart Citizen, Waag Society, University of Dundee, The Peers Educators Network and JRC.

Making Sense aims to explore how open source software, open source hardware, digital maker practices and open design can be effectively used by local communities to appropriate their own technological sensing tools, make sense of their environments and address pressing environmental problems in air, water, soil and sound pollution. To achieve this, the project will develop a Making Sense Toolkit based on the Smart Citizen platform for bottom-up citizen science, developed at Fablab Barcelona. This toolkit will be tested in pilots in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Prishtina, aimed at deepening our understanding on the processes enabling collective awareness.

We will soon launch the project’s website. If you are interested in contributing to the pilots, please get in touch! @marabales.

+ info: Participatory sensing, by Waag.

Participatory sensing

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About Mara Balestrini

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

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