Cathalijne Dortmans, Deputy Mayor, City of Helmond, said: “Brainport Smart District is a living lab of technological innovation. It’s also a district for social innovation."
Brainport Smart District (BSD) in the City of Helmond, the Netherlands, will explore the ethical, legal and philosophical issues related to giving citizens of a smart city ownership of their personal data.
Over the next ten years, the BSD will develop approximately 1,500 new homes and 12 hectares of business premises, organised around a central park and surrounded by nature reserves.
The ambition is to create a sustainable, circular neighbourhood which features joint energy generation, food production, water management, digital data management and next-generation transport systems.
The district, which has the tagline "Living the future", will be designed and new technologies integrated in collaboration with citizens.
Cathalijne Dortmans, Deputy Mayor, City of Helmond and Chair of the Board of Brainport Smart District, told SmartCitiesWorld: “Brainport Smart District is a living lab of technological innovation. But apart from technological innovation, it’s also a district for social innovation."
The district is based around seven pillars: energy, mobility, safety, health, digital, data participation and circularity.
“Along these programme lines, there are a number of businesses who participated in business challenges, and have come up with several innovative ideas and solutions for our district,” Dortmans said.
The development could also serve as a pioneer for new models of ethical and transparent data use, where citizens are in control.
“The basic principle is that we say that the data is owned by the future inhabitants. But if you claim that, then it opens up a whole new discussion area,” Dortmans commented.
Dortmans is keen that any knowledge and best practices gathered through the ’living lab’ will be shared with cities throughout the world.
A data expert has been appointed for the project and an ethical committee is in the pipeline.
“I hope that the most critical people will join this ethical committee in order to help us with all the legal aspects and the philosophical and ethical aspects when it comes to data,” Dortmans noted.
She is also keen that any knowledge and best practices gathered through the ’living lab’ will be shared with cities throughout the world.
“I look forward to creating a network of all the smart city solutions, smart districts and smart cities so we don’t have to invent everything by ourselves,” she said.
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