Saturday, September 22, 2007

City 2.0

I participated last week in the first of a series of workshops 'Ville 2.0' coordinated by the FING to understand and imagine the transformations of a city (Paris in this case) through new and innovative services based on 2.0 and mobility trends.
Beyond the complexity of the roles and responsibilities to be shared and played by the different public bodies (transportation, city council, etc.), the infrastructure and services suppliers such as JC Decaux or Orange, start-up companies have obviously a key role to play in contributing both to the development of the necessary ecosystems and the launch of the many required user experiments.
An initiative like Tellmewhere, 'The collaborative and reusable encyclopaedia of places', is a typical and good example. Tellmewhere has developed a map based UGC platform to allow users, I shall say the 'city users', to find and contribute any information about the city. Let's also mention the sucessfull Yelp service in the US as a new generation Yellow Pages service.
Another example is Peuplade focusing on neighborhood services which in a way also closes the loop from physical to virtual and virtual to physical, when people eventually end up meeting again locally after having connected over the global web.
Also the area of mobility, interactivity and proximity marketing are obviously key ones: I for instance contributed to experiment interactive windows with the start-up Kameleon two years ago to allow citizens to download content 24h a day with their bluetooth connected cell phones as they were passing by Orange window stores. Other examples are 'smart objects' based on NFC technology developed by Airtag or platforms such as FuturLink.
Not to mention the extreme simulations of our future behaviors and expectations in virtual worlds such as SecondLife (can't wait to fly in a 2.0 City!).
We would probably imagine the city of the future offering different value added services based on our personal expectations. We can expect them to be based on basic ones like seamless, reliable and continuous connectivity, access to all (as many as possible ?) data at all times for localized tourism, real estate or employment search but also on new behaviors such as one to one real time exchange of services where one could offer ones cooking skills in exchange for painting or sewing ones. Anyone interested in preparing my sushi dinner in exchange for some kitesurfing lessons on a 2.0 beach yet ?

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