Category Archives: Uncategorized

Designing Participatory Smart Cities

Public Lecture – Bristol 18 December 2015

Background; Building on the work referenced on this blog, and a forthcoming book chapter on CityZens (2016) a public lecture will be given using the following slides to prompt a discussion on how we might develop the processes that will enable us to become “CityZens in the Network Society.”

Slideshare; the following slides will be used and will continue to be updated for a few days. This blog post is being made available for comments to be posted for the public session, before, during and after the public session. A fuller blog post will follow after the presentation. If you wish to use Twitter please use the hastag #cmircity


unSmart Cities; our background

Social Cities & Citizen-generated Contexts


Fred Garnett has been working on developing post Web 2.0 models of learning, such as th Open Context Model of Learning and the Emergent Learning Model. This resulted in trying to develop learning environments “beyond the classroom” especially as “Ambient Learning Environments.” We tested this in the Ambient Learning City projects in Manchester, developing the MOSI-ALONG community content (JISC) project to develop socially inclusive social media processes designed to help citizens engage with the knowledge economy. We learnt a lot, especially about the need for Social Cities rather than smart cities, and we are now disseminating what we learnt.

Carl Smith is a context engineer, who has been working with mobile technology and on developing “learner-generated contexts.” He is head of research at Ravensbourne

We both take a user-centric approach to the use of technology and are interested in creating future environments that are participatory and democratic, or citizen-centric.


Ambient Learning City


Social Cities of Tomorrow

Everything is a Metaphor

Hello Cities

This is the blog where Fred Garnett, from a social cities perspective, and Carl Smith, from a context-driven perspective, will blog about the future of cities, their Death & Life, their supralinear qualities, emerging pattern designs and, most importantly, how to design for their smart sensors without making Minority Report come true, and all things contextual and innovative.

The title is inspired by Lewis Mumford’s The City in History, The image is from Arles. We like Steven Berlin Johnson The Ghost Mapneighbourhood mapping and Transition Towns too.

We originally started this blog as The City in Context, as that is our view on how to develop social and participatory cities post Web2.0, but we have renamed it to align with the UnSmart Cities movement.

Happy reading!