At the end of a brilliant lecture given by Nobel Prize winner in Economics Professor Sen (Harvard University) at the Royal Belgian Academy of Sciences, I asked Professor Sen: "If world society well being and quality of life could become an international referential, changing the international mindset, would this not serve as a strong incentive to catalyse the blending of all the disconnected roadmaps, action plans and grids together?" Professor Sen said definitely: "Yes." Well, this referential can equally be created and applied at national, city, town, village and rural levels...
The Third Millennium's top priority is indeed achieving and sustaining the citizens' well being and quality of life all over the world. This means localities (villages, towns, cities), rural areas, regions, countries and continents are all interconnected, each affecting the other either way. So the local (eg. city) citizens' well being and quality of life directly impacts on world well being and quality of life; and vice-versa.
The finality of any project today should contribute to achieving and sustaining the citizens' well being and quality of life on planet Earth. (If not, what's the point?) This won't succeed by concentrating exclusively on one specific issue alone, like sustainable energy. I might also add that concentrating exclusively on sustainable energy is by no means an efficient way to deal with sustainable energy. Fragmented initiatives (whatever the initiative) or fragmented governance necessarily fail because of oversimplification that only complexifies further.
In order to achieve and sustain the city citizens' well being and quality of life, the approach must be holistic which automatically improves the efficiency of previously fragmented initiatives, including therefore sustainable energy. The problem is that we can't. Yet.
A village/town/city is a miniature world of its own made up
of a very complex network of interacting tangible and intangible networks that together contribute to
affecting the city citizens' well being and quality of life. These must be
identified and understood bearing in mind that each network influences all the
others and vice-versa.
These must be identified and understood bearing in mind that each network influences all the others and vice-versa.
Pilot Scheme 1 (achieving and sustaining city society well being and quality of life with/without smart cities) is therefore a typical holistic multicultural integrated interdisciplinary project that considers the village (town or city) as a patient.
The first step with any patient is first to listen and talk to him/her. So there is a need to listen to the city citizens' concerns, hopes and interests. In other words, there is a need to create a City Society Well Being and Quality of Life Profile.
This means a need to first define "well being and quality of life" in such a way that the definition can be implemented in all the villages/towns/cities of a given country. In order to usefully compare the village/town/city society well being and quality of life profiles, you also need a National Standard Methodology for village/town/city society well being and quality of life profile assessment. Furthermore, in order to later usefully compare National Society Well Being and Quality of Life (NSWBQoL) Profiles, you need a world definition of Well Being and Quality of Life that can be applied anywhere together with a World Standard Methodology for National Society Well Being and Quality of Life Profile Assessment. These shall be the deliverables after the World Pre-Summit on WSWBQoL.
Then - and only then - can each country proceed to create its village/town/city and therefore NSWBQoL Profiles.
In other words, there are no specific pilot villages/towns/cities for existing localities. Of course, with experience improvements shall be made for a given region so the first wave of Pilot Scheme 1 villages/towns/cities shall all in a sense be "Pilot" localities. Furthermore, completely new cities in the desert for example could certainly be so named.
Since a village/town/city is made up of an intricate network of networks, Pilot Scheme 1 needs to bring together stakeholders from these different networks to both understand how each network basically functions, how these networks act together to create village/town/city life and impact on the citizens' well being and quality of life. If the village/town/city is not going well, there is a need to identify which network (or set of networks) is responsible. This is why there is a need to reproduce the city's network of networks in a model. In other words, this means creating a model of a real city that best reflects all the parameters that can affect city society well being and quality of life, a complex endeavour that means integrating Big Data, IoT and Cloud Computing. Indeed, each village/town/city model could later be interconnected giving rise to a virtual NSWBQoL model that could also help predict or solve national issues, but this may be for tomorrow.
New Capacity Building Programme (NCBP) National Representations (or their delegates in Brussels) are strongly encouraged to participate in this workshop since each National Representation is responsible for its own PS-1 national organisation, supervision and development.
To recapitulate, we can simply divide this short introduction into two parts.
i. Pilot Scheme 1 can only be undertaken after the Pre-Summit on World Society Well Being and Quality of Life that is essential for reaching a world consensus on a WBQoL Definition and on a Standard Methodology for National Society Well Being and Quality of Life Profile Assessment.
ii. Pilot Scheme 1 takes place in all the villages/towns/cities/rural areas of a given country.
iii. Village/town/city/rural area society well being and quality of life profiles are created.
iv. Based on these profiles, we explore what must be done to achieve, improve and sustain the citizens' well being and quality of life in their village/town/city.
v. To avoid unnecessary harassment of the citizens, data mining shall be undertaken during iii. & iv. Data mining = identifying all the tangible and intangible networks including ALL the characteristics of the village/town/city. This is extremely thorough.
i. Integrate all the data in a model that is accessible to the city citizens (but respecting privacy) through interactive software inviting constant feedback from the population in the city. This both empowers the citizen and has high educative value encouraging holistic thinking, creating a collective responsibility/conscience and improving good citizenship.
ii. Based on the inhabitants' concerns, identify which network (or set of networks) needs attention. Using the virtual model of the real city, we can suggest alternative solutions in direct communication with the citizen and see which fits best.
iii. A real city model means integrating Big Data: pollution, energy efficiency, poverty, refurbishing/retrofitting buildings, short/medium/long term economic benefits, transport, society, isolation, education, governance, politics, urbanism, indoor/outdoor architecture, IC/Digital technology, culture, religion, health, the elderly, ... These are all "networks" (bubbles) that must be fully understood from both an individual and a holistic perspective. We need a very powerful model that can better visualise the dynamic structure of these networks and how they interact.
NCBP National Representations are responsible for organising Pilot Scheme 1 in all the cities in their respective countries.
Both National Brainstorming Events and Pilot Scheme 1 have a formidable multicultural interdisciplinary integrating potential. In Belgium, one City that shall attract considerable attention shall be Brussels, the Capital of Europe. The Flemish and French speaking Belgian citizens and institutions working together towards a common objective: Brussels Society Well Being and Quality of Life! This is why creating a city referential of city society well being and quality of life is so important. If this can succeed, this would be a formidable victory. To many, Brussels/Belgium doesnít have the political maturity to represent the capital of Europe and Belgiumís reputation has been plagued by its chronic and surrealistic politico-linguistic problems. As a City, Brussels would be an example for many to follow. If national society well being and quality of life could become a Belgian referential, changing the Belgian mindset, this would be a strong incentive to finding a permanent solution to Belgium's problems. The country would acquire international respect. This same pattern can be applied to all the villages, towns, cities and countries in the world.
This is the fourth consecutive time that European Commission supports our EDE (Energy Day Event) devoted to Pilot Scheme 1 during the EUSEW giving us an international platform and wide publicity for presenting our ideas to the public. Our EDE shall be devoted to exploring the complexities of holistic multicultural integrated interdisciplinary project, exploring how the multiple networks that constitute a city affects the citizens' well being and quality of life. This is nothing less than the interdisciplinary integration of Big Data.
Registration for EDE June 2015: Please click here