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Martin Brynskov to coordinate a new, major EU project

OrganiCity is the name of a new EU project with € 7.2 million in funding which will be putting people at the centre of the development of future cities. Martin Brynskov, an associate professor of information studies at Aarhus University, is the project coordinator.

2015.01.28 | Anja Kjærgaard

“According to UN projections, the urban population will have increased hugely by 2050, with seven out of ten people worldwide living in cities. This development – alongside a comprehensive move towards digital technologies – will place cities under tremendous pressure,” explains Martin Brynskov, an associate professor of information studies at Aarhus University. He is the coordinator of a new EU project which will put people at the centre of urban development in future.

The EU project, called “OrganiCity”, will involve close collaboration between Aarhus, London and Santander – three cities which all have experience of using what’s known as smart city technology. Smart city technology involves the use of technological systems which not only improve the service provided for citizens, but also reduce resource consumption. Smart cities are cities that seek to achieve intelligent urban development, for instance by developing initiatives that optimise urban activities by combining the physical environment with the digital world.

Working across sectors

Until now smart city initiatives have tried to find innovative solutions for individual urban sectors in isolation from each other (transport, health and climate, for instance).

“But in Denmark we believe that you can’t meet urban challenges by focusing solely on initiatives that target individual sectors. Traditional cities are divided into different sectors, each of which has its own procedures and everyday practices. But this is changing, so if we want to develop cities and create the framework for sustainable growth, including social growth, it’s vital that we form partnerships extending across the existing silos. This is one of the lessons we’ve learned in Denmark, and we’ll be contributing our insight to the EU project,” explains Brynskov.

With citizens in the centre

He also believes that technology will not be sufficient on its own. Civic participation and co-creation are equally important components in the cities of the future.

OrganiCity has three years and € 7.2 million to construct a large-scale, unique laboratory for carrying out urban experiments. One-quarter of the budget (€ 1.8 million) will be channelled directly into citizen-driven experiments

“So we’re encouraging partnerships and participation with a view to developing urban experiments in close collaboration with (and at the initiative of) groups of citizens, organisations, public authorities and companies.


Facts about OrganiCity

  • OrganiCity is the name of a new EU project.
  • The total budget is € 7.2 million.
  • A total of 15 partners are affiliated with the project, which will run for three years.
  • The central cities involved are Aarhus, London and Santander.
  • Aarhus University, Aarhus Municipality and the Alexandra Institute will be taking part in Denmark.

Learn more about the project.


Further information

Martin Brynskov

Associate professor and coordinator of AU Smart Cities and The Danish Smart City Network
and a member of the interdisciplinary Participatory IT Centre

Information Studies and Digital Design

Department of Aesthetics and Communication

Aarhus University

Email: brynskov@cavi.au.dk

Mobile: +45 3068 0424

Research, Afd. for Digital Design og Informationsvidenskab