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Digitalisation for Citizen Empowerment

Digitalisation for Citizen Empowerment

Local Councillors Network by the European Greens – Greening from the Ground Up: Our Commitment to Resilience – Smart Cities Session
Valencia, Spain, 7.5.2022.

Data and digital technologies can be used to manipulate and control citizens, but also to empower them. Concrete examples of citizen empowerment by the Mozemo party and the City of Zagreb: air quality monitoring, mayoral acts search engine, city hackathon and budget transparency.

https://localcouncillors.europeangreens.eu/events/69659?tab=smart-cities

Dražen Lučanin

May 07, 2022
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  1. Digitalisation for
    Citizen Empowerment
    Dražen Lučanin
    President of the District Council Črnomerec in Zagreb
    Deputy President of the Workgroup for Digitalisation of the
    City of Zagreb, Croatia

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  2. Background
    • Until recently political oposition in the City of Zagreb
    • Using digitalisation as (hack)activists
    • Empower citizens who demand more transparency, better city IT services
    • Deliver something useful in our political campaigns
    (instead of handing out pens, give the public useful new IT tools)
    • June 2021
    • Možemo! (We Can!) won the local election in Zagreb
    • Tomislav Tomašević, Mayor of Zagreb
    • A number of workgroups, including the Digitalisation workgroup
    • Assist the political transition in the city administration
    • Help start concrete projects to implement our political programme

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  3. Open Acts (2020)
    • https://akti.mozemo.hr/
    • Our first political open source project
    • The old mayoral acts website had lots of
    issues (difficult to search, incomplete
    results, bad UX/UI)
    • Implemented a web scraper at a party
    hackathon, pulling in data
    • Worked with a team of UX/UI designers and
    software developers to build a new, more
    modern mayoral acts search engine
    • Since then, the project was expanded to
    other cities too (Split and Rijeka, where it is
    now the official search engine)

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  4. Open Air (2021)
    • Existing tools
    • 4 separate networks of air quality data
    (local, national, meteorological…)
    • Bad UX/UI, impossible to use on a phone
    • Incomplete geographical coverage
    • Open Air – https://zrak.mozemo.hr/
    • Scraped existing data & expanded it!
    • Allow citizens to host measurement
    devices on their balconies
    • Open source 3D-printed casing provided
    by https://klimerko.org/ (Novi Sad, Serbia)
    • Mobile-first open source web app
    • Design focused on accessibility – new
    simplified colour scheme & user testing

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  5. HACKL – hackathon for an open Zagreb
    • How to quickly improve city IT design
    and development?
    • Concept – a city-led hackathon
    • Provide city data in a machine-readable
    format
    • Implement a minimum viable product
    (MVP) to illustrate the desired direction
    • Let creative citizens come up with a
    better design
    • Independent jury
    • The winners’ design used as a
    specification for the city’s new software
    • Similar to architectural competitions
    • https://hackl.zagreb.hr/

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  6. 1. HACKL – Open Budget
    • Published the city budget data
    • In a machine-readable format
    • On the City Open Data Portal
    • https://data.zagreb.hr/
    • Built an MVP using existing software
    • Visualisation tools available in the city
    • https://smart.zagreb.hr/
    • Organised the 1st HACKL to get great new ideas and fresh
    takes
    • Chat-bot interface for educating users
    • Graphs can be embedded in other websites (discoverability)
    • Fresh and modern UX/UI ideas
    • Out-of-the box results as a result of a design thinking workshop

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  7. Next hackathon already coming up…
    • https://zghack.zgh.hr/
    • Educational focus
    • Use Minecraft to come up with ideas
    for better waste management
    • Target – primary school children
    • Creativity through play
    • Foster civic participation at a young age

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  8. Thank you!
    Dražen Lučanin
    [email protected]
    https://punkrockdev.com/
    @metakermit on Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn / Instagram / GitHub

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