January 22 2013

CityCamp Buenos Aires: Gov 2.0 Goes Argentinean

CityCamp events are considered by many urban enthusiasts around the world as one of the best opportunities to meet different actors that work for the improvement of urban space.

CityCamp evolved from its Buenos Aires edition into a larger, open-sourced community focused on promoting an exchange of experiences and establishing guidelines for coordinated work between local governments, institutions, non-governmental organizations, social entrepreneurs, and enterprises.

CityCamp Logo

For 2012, the event took place on Saturday, September 8th, at the University of Palermo. The event is considered by many local experts in urban planning as being the first event plowing the road towards real citizen collaboration. This is in contrast to previous experiences like Megaciudades, as exposed in my previous post, which lacks a very important ingredient: The inclusion of the regular citizen, the John Doe or fulano de tal, into the debate to help shape the future of the city in which he lives.

As stated in its motto: “Government 2.0 goes local,” CityCamp Buenos Aires explored and documented ideas and lessons to improve practices implemented by city governments around the globe. For the 2012 edition there was a special interest in the use of social media, mobile devices, linked open data, and the World Wide Web as the main platform of discussion for city issues.

The subjects analyzed in this edition were:

  • Sensoring and data mapping;
  • Open Culture;
  • ProComún (Foundation for the Common Good);
  • Public Spaces;
  • Local Development;
  • New Technologies for Education;
  • Social Innovation and Urban Planning;
  • And the most important item: Citizen Participation.

Collage of Talks, Forums and Ludic Activities of the Conference

It’s important to understand that all the versions of CityCamp are known to be an open-code brand, meaning that these type of events can easily be adapted and repeated by anyone, anywhere.

This model of “Brand” is very efficient in preserving the nature of the CityCamp conferences, not allowing independent organizers to change the main purpose of the debate.

For now, it seems that this approach towards urban conferences is working better in generating awareness of the urban issues our cities are confronting, and are increasingly more popular than their private or government organised counterparts.

So, we should question ourselves: Is citizen participation the key for a successful, goal-achieving event? Should governments and corporations recognise that the best ideas come from regular citizens?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Luis Lozano-Paredes

Luis Lozano-Paredes is currently a student seeking a Diploma of Architecture and Urban Planning at Belgrano University in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Born in Colombia in 1987, he grew between the cities of Bogotá and Santiago de Cali, and then moved to Argentina in 2006. There, he finished the Common Basic Cycle of Architecture, Design, and Urbanism at the University of Buenos Aires before pursuing studies in Landscape Design at the same Institution. Inspired by the Urban Transformation of Bogotá in the past decades, his interests evolved from Landscape Architecture to his current passion; Urban Planning, Policy Making, and Sustainable Development. He plans to continue his studies in Urban Planning and Sustainability in Canada, Chile, or the U.S.; but for the moment he currently works as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center of Metropolitan Transport Studies of the University of Buenos Aires and is a Member of the Observatory of Urban Sustainability at Belgrano University. Luis’ main interests lay within the study of Smart Cities, Urban Sustainable Development, and Social Architecture in Latin America.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 at 9:00 am and is filed under Environmental Design, Environmental Non-Profit, Government/Politics, Luis Lozano-Paredes, Technology, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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