For 2012, the event took place on Saturday, September 8th, at the University of Palermo. The event is considered by many local experts in urban planning as being the first event plowing the road towards real citizen collaboration. This is in contrast to previous experiences like Megaciudades, as exposed in my previous post, which lacks a very important ingredient: The inclusion of the regular citizen, the John Doe or fulano de tal, into the debate to help shape the future of the city in which he lives.
As stated in its motto: “Government 2.0 goes local,” CityCamp Buenos Aires explored and documented ideas and lessons to improve practices implemented by city governments around the globe. For the 2012 edition there was a special interest in the use of social media, mobile devices, linked open data, and the World Wide Web as the main platform of discussion for city issues.
The subjects analyzed in this edition were:
- Sensoring and data mapping;
- Open Culture;
- ProComún (Foundation for the Common Good);
- Public Spaces;
- Local Development;
- New Technologies for Education;
- Social Innovation and Urban Planning;
- And the most important item: Citizen Participation.
It’s important to understand that all the versions of CityCamp are known to be an open-code brand, meaning that these type of events can easily be adapted and repeated by anyone, anywhere.
This model of “Brand” is very efficient in preserving the nature of the CityCamp conferences, not allowing independent organizers to change the main purpose of the debate.
For now, it seems that this approach towards urban conferences is working better in generating awareness of the urban issues our cities are confronting, and are increasingly more popular than their private or government organised counterparts.
So, we should question ourselves: Is citizen participation the key for a successful, goal-achieving event? Should governments and corporations recognise that the best ideas come from regular citizens?
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.