iCities (III). Case Study: Gijón. The Connected City.

iCities is a Conference about Blogs, e-Government and Digital Participation.
Here come my notes for session III.

Case Study: Gijón. The Connected City
Chairs: Chiqui de la Fuente

José M. Pérez

The political role is fundamental in the process of change.

Active listening is crucial, and it’s very important to avoid the “Big Brother” paranoia in order to let information flow free. Only with absolute openness can the Administration make its information interact with the citizen’s. Interconnection requires openness and access to private information — not the same thing as surveillance. This can be made possible by making public the “what” but anonymizing the “by whom”.

Interesting experience: digital literacy courses which enrollment had to be done through the Internet. Contradictory? No: there were computers and connectivity in households, but only used by kids. Thus, by making on-line enrollment compulsory parents (and grandparents) had to ask their sons (or grandsons) for help. A complicity was sowed.

Benefits and empowerment are the keys to engage the citizenry in the e-Administration.

The city council has created and ID Citizen Card — an e-ID Card — that can be operated in “ATM” run by the city council that, instead of producing money, they run administrative tasks/services. 24h a day, 365 days a year. Without queues. Absolute trust (e.g. no credit card numbers and passwords submitted on a “suspicious” website).

Think of the e-Administration as the “permanent beta” concept: constant innovation, thinking ahead, vision of future, etc.

The Administration cannot wait the demand to grow and reach a critical threshold before setting up the service that will fulfill this demand: it is the Administration’s commitment to generate demand through the creation of several services ahead of the citizenry’s will/needs.

The Web 1.0 is not exhausted: there’s still path to run in the field of Web 1.0 services that can be useful to citizens and/or that citizens are demanding.


iCities 2008, Blogs, e-Government and Digital Participation (2008)