Abstracts and Slides


This page was last updated on October 20th, 2021 and has all the slides made accessible since that date.


  • Digital Trust for Places and Routines (DTPR)

    Enabling greater transparency and civic dialogue on the use of digital technologies in the built environment. October 6, afternoon

    DTPR is an open-source “system-to-people” communication standard for transparency and accountability around digital technology in places. It includes a standard dictionary of concepts and associated icons for tech and data practices, a signage system, and a digital channel (see https://dtpr.helpfulplaces.com/. The workshop will be an online interactive experience with group discussion and brainstorming on virtual post-it notes after an introduction to the DTPR open-source standard and a demonstration of an implementation prototype.

    Workshop slides are available online
    See slides
  • Smart Sensor Scavenger Hunt

    Discover and identify smart infrustructures in public space. What needs to be transparent and what, if anything, is best left unseen? October 6, afternoon

    Those joining in person are welcome to socialize while exploring the sensors of the Marineterrein and learning more about data gathering at NEMO. (The more active have the opportunity to visit the MX3D bridge).

    Those joining virtually will be dropped in five smart city locations around the globe

  • Over the Wall Designing

    Explore what smart objects mean to different groups of people through completing a design process from different perspectives. October 7, afternoon

    Smart objects are implemented in our public space. But how should the people be informed about this, and how do different stakeholders affect the outcome? During this workshop, you will complete a design process. After every design phase, you will throw your output 'over the wall' and continue with the work from a different group, with a different stakeholder in mind.


  • Panel Data Visibility Frameworks and Law

    Beryl Dreijer (Privacy Officer at the City of Amsterdam)

    Data in Amsterdam and Elsewhere

    A deep dive into the state of data transparency in Amsterdam and the challenges and successes of data transparency in practice.

    Paul Manwaring (Co-founder of City Innovation Exchange Lab (CITIXL))

    The Responsible Sensing Toolkit: Data transparency applied to an ethical framework for city sensing projects in public spaces. 

    As societal values change and the deployment of sensing technology becomes more ubiquitous, what are our digital rights in a 21st-century city? This dilemma is forcing municipalities to make difficult decisions about practice versus the policy of collecting data from public space. In collaboration with the City of Amsterdam and the AMS Responsible Sensing Lab, the City Innovation Exchange Lab (CITIXL) has created the Responsible Sensing Toolkit - a six-step framework to help navigate this new landscape in a fast and effective way. To create social impact with citizens we must, in early stages of sensing projects, address data ethics, transparency, and inclusion. The toolkit was co-designed by experienced city innovators to empower municipalities, organisations, and communities to implement open and inclusive crowd sensing solutions for our 21st-century cities. Years of experience with IoT and Smart City data generating projects in public spaces here in Amsterdam and abroad has informed CITIXL and partners that, in data generating ecosystems, participation is production. Getting citizens involved is crucial to effective sensing projects and how we move from awareness to participation is at the core of this exciting new framework.

    Paul Manwaring, co-founder of the CITIXL will present the Responsible Crowd Sensing toolkit while elaborating on:

    • What is the toolkit and how was the six-step process developed
    • Lessons learned from testing the toolkit since January 2021
    • Why such an inclusive and transparent framework is useful from a city perspective
    • How it accelerates effective sensing project design and promotes social impact

    This is a clear and well documented example of data transparency in practice that is showing results now. The toolkit is published on the CITIXL website, and has been included in the City of Amsterdam’s Open Research Platform. And is now being translated into Dutch by the CTO innovation team as we prepare to hand it over to the Responsible Sensing Lab who will publish the Toolkit in their new website this fall.

    Sage Cammers-Goodwin (PhD Candidate University of Twente) and Naomi van Stralen (MSc Candidate Industrial Design Engineering University of Twente)

    Making Data Visible in Public Space

    “Transparency” is continually set as a core value for cities as they digitalize. Global initiatives and regulations claim that transparency will be key to making smart cities ethical. Unfortunately, how exactly to achieve a transparent city is quite opaque. Current regulations often only mandate that information be made accessible in the case of personal data collection. While such standards might encourage anonymization techniques, they do not enforce that publicly collected data be made publicly visible or an issue of public concern. This paper covers concerns for data transparency in public space. The first, why data visibility is important, sets the stage for why transparency cannot solely be based on personal as opposed to anonymous data collection as well as what counts as making data transparent. The second concern, lessons and shortcomings of current regulations and initiatives, addresses present challenges creating public space that communicates its sensing capabilities without overwhelming the public. The final section, what regulations are necessary for data visibility, argues that for public space to be transparent the government needs to step in to regulate standardized signaling, a sensor registry, contextual data accessibility and increased data literacy education.

  • Panel Data Transparency in Dutch Cities

    Thijs Turèl (AMS Program Manager)

    Responsible Sensing Lab

    The Responsible Sensing Lab (RSL) aims to (re)design smart city systems from public values that are currently underrepresented as drivers of innovation (for instance: TADA values) and are closely related to civic rights. Transparency and understandability are two of these values. During this talk, Thijs Turel will present different smart city systems and the experiments the RSL did with operationalizing transparency in design.

    Rowen Aker (MSc Candidate Industrial Design Engineering University of Twente)

    Enschede Smart City 

    Cities and towns make more and more use of data and technologies in order to tackle challenges. These so called “Smart City” projects become more frequent and in this process the municipality of Enschede strives to be as transparent as possible towards citizens in the data which they collect and how it is used. All in all that requires a large amount of information and expertise. In this bachelor assignment a possible solution is designed for improvement of the communication of information about these projects. For this several interviews have been held with citizens to get an understanding of the perspective of citizens on how communication regarding data collection of Smart Cities should take place. The conversations give insight in what citizens find important information to have when (personal) data is collected of them, and what not, and how this information should be communicated. In this conference I will go over the outcomes of the conversation with citizens and their views on Enschede as a Smart City.

    Irma Bergen Bravenboer (Digital Innovation Advisor) & Esmeralde Marsman (Rotterdam Municipality Designer)

    Rotterdam Smart City

    The Klik! sensor project explores the needs of citizens in the smart city within Rotterdam. Using a design approach we both involved citizens and civil servants in conversation about the use of sensors in the public space.

  • Panel Future City

    Kars Alfrink (PhD Candidate TU Delft)

    Contestable urban sensing

    As urban sensing becomes increasingly commonplace, so do public concerns over its lack of transparency. Various approaches, including signage and public documentation, seek to provide explanations of sensors' purpose and capabilities. However, such transparency alone is not enough to preserve people's autonomy. For this, a means of human control is also required. The GDPR recognizes a data subject's right to contest, which requires that systems offer a way for subjects to request human intervention, and to engage in an adversarial exchange with human controllers. Various scholars have suggested similar provisions be made a requirement of systems that do not process personal data, and do not make decisions in a fully-automated manner, but still impact people to a significant extent. In this contribution we will offer a working definition of contestable urban sensing, give some reasons why it is desirable, and provide examples of how the principle of contestability might be translated into system features.

    John Walker (Independent Philosophy of Technology Researcher)

    Merging Citizens & Data: a Postphenomenological  Investigation on Mediated Practices in Citizen Sensing 

    Through examining Dustbox, a unique air quality sensor, and the program Citizen Sense, this thesis bridges the relations found within Postphenomenology into the realm of citizen science. From sensing practices, this thesis acknowledges the role of technology in shaping and mediating the methods, interpretations and data collection work of citizens who work with Dustbox. Moving from practices to the relations to data itself, the relational view of data is brought in as a way to understand how citizens relate to, understand and learn from the data they themselves gather. Within this conception of data, the post phenomenological account raises questions regarding how data as a technological artifact itself is shaped. The mediating role of technology in the relational view of data raises new questions about the possibility of how to understand hermeneutically mediated data from the relational framework. What is found within this discussion is twofold. One, that both the role of technology in shaping our interpretation and relation to data cannot go unrecognized. Second, through the relational view, the work of sensing practices in citizen sensing becomes able to combine different imaginaries of data use, which in turn provide the necessary parts of both qualitative reports and experiential concerns.

  • Panel Smart City Applications and Visibility

    Ilse Schieven (MSc Candidate Interaction Technology University of Twente)

    Making a Smart Bridge Transparent through Online Data Visualisation

    Mid July 2021, the MX3D smart bridge was placed over the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal in De Wallen, Amsterdam. It is a modern-looking, 3D printed bridge that, besides the functionality of letting people cross over the canal, tracks data for research purposes. For my bachelor’s thesis, I researched how the public could benefit from the data collection, by visualizing the data collected by the MX3D bridge. I worked on the website and an interface that explains the data collection and shows different outputs of sensors. This presentation will describe the process of designing a website for transparency and findings from my research. Through a survey, I found that the public is not interested in seeing all data collected by the bridge, rather the kinds of data they are familiar with like load and temperature. Although Amsterdam has signed a manifesto that has the principle of sharing all data that is collected in public space with the public, the public is not necessarily interested in all data. The outcomes of the survey as well as the principles of the municipality of Amsterdam are used to design an interface that shows the data, and make recommendations to the current website of the smart bridge in Amsterdam.

    Surbhi Agrawal (MCP Candidate City Planning MIT)

    Living Data Hubs Kenya

    Millions of people live in informal urban communities without internet access. These same communities also have heavy involvement of organizations that seek to the quality of life, yet the data collected about these communities is often not in their control.

    In my talk, I will be talking about a project I have been working on at the Civic Data Design Lab at MIT based on a community-based internet hot-spot in the informal settlements in Kibera in Nairobi. Working with marginalized residents, Living Data Hubs (LDH) co-creates a network that enables residents to leverage affordable internet access and control data about their community. Through wireless access points, LDH provides internet access to the urban poor and allows them to collect data through survey tools and sensors attached to the hot-spot. LDH empowers residents with a platform to collect, manage, and sell data. This local control provides a critical source of financial sustainability for KPSPIN.

    LDH builds community-based knowledge, training workshops for residents enable their full control and management of the internet and of LDH’s data system, establishing a toolkit that can be deployed across other communities interested in community-based internet network and data systems which can be replicated around the world.

  • Closing Address

    Alec Shuldiner (Autodesk Data Ethics Lead)

    The Smart Pool

    Though not widely recognized as such, demonstrating models for the ethical collection and use of data in public spaces is a matter of real urgency. With few exceptions, “smart cities” solutions are today essentially optional, typically adopted in the name of experimentation and research rather than as a means of addressing specific and pressing needs. That is soon to change: in the face of multiple and increasingly severe disasters brought on by climate disruption, cities will have to get smart or die. This imperative will translate into the unfettered adoption of IoT technologies and, with them, whatever architecture and philosophy they embody. If the dominant architecture is machine learning models built on video data, and the dominant philosophy one of at best lightly regulated surveillance, then the panicked rollout of smart solutions will result in public spaces full of cameras generating data streams consumed by opaque ML at the cost of privacy, anonymity, and personal freedom. To avoid this future, the active deployment and demonstration of alternate models is an imperative: we must prove the value and practicality of smart solutions that employ sensing and analytics tailored to address clearly defined use cases with the explicit goal of avoiding surveillance-prone technologies, and we must do so before it is too late. In this talk, I use the admittedly farcical example of the smart pool to illustrate the deplorable path of current development, already well underway in your neighbor’s backyard.

Logo of conference: Data Transparency in Public Space