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07 July 2017

Building The Networked City From The Ground Up With Citizens

By Emanuel Martinez By Bianca Pick for Oui Share Magazine – One key point is access to housing. The government is not only tracking down big banks that leave apartments empty but also confronting platforms like Airbnb whose business model has a negative impact on affordable housing. Another big theme is energy transition and renewable energy. Barcelona wants to create a municipal energy company to fight the current monopoly. We are also looking into more distributed energy models, like smart grids, models that are more affordable and which allow citizens to be in control of their data. We are also rethinking urban planning with projects like the SuperBlocks (Superilles). Aimed at giving back public spaces to citizens, they were created in a very innovative process with a digital democracy platform for large-scale citizen participation. Opening the debate brought many great ideas, but it also showed us the complicated aspect of participation. There were many conflicting interests and it was learning by doing in an iterative way. Finally, instead of working only with big companies as governments typically do, we are also rethinking the economic model to support new economies like the solidarity, collaborative and digital economy.

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