When we set out to define what a rural ODI Node should do our intention was to provide some counterpoint to the city emphasis; a flag we could fly for towns, villages and the countryside. But Smart Rural, although a theme in its own right, creates an unwanted association. Its encapsulation of the “other” perhaps does more to reinforce the Smart City agenda than it does to further the fundamental impact of technology and data on the wider landscape.
To define connected technologies in relation to geographical boundaries is pointlessly counter-intuitive. To see cities as networked islands in a digital void gives the illusion of complete self-sufficiency. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
So, as challenging as it is, we’re trying to steer the conversation in the direction of Smart Everything, albeit with a focus of our own. If anything we’re going back to basics, exploring the commonalities between places and what really matters for the kind of Smart future we actually want.
Our main conference on June 26th is designed to present the very best perspectives on these fundamentals. From environmental big data to open and inclusive technology we’re pulling together the threads of people, place, technology and data to reframe the conversation around Smart Cities.
We hope you can join us and be part of the conversation. In the meantime, here’s a short talk given by Simon as part of the ODI Futures event at Arup.