Outsmarting the paradigm: Implementation of new technologies in the cities [UPDATED]

Project background and summary

The role of youth in cities has been one of CDN’s areas of work for several years now. The Network has previously organized several projects, including the Annual Work Plan “Urban Steps for Resilient Future” and a Summer School “Youth and the City: Young People for Fair and Green Cities”. Building on this work CDN is organising a series of different online activities as a part of the GEF transnational project “A Charter for the Smart City II”. 

Young people are digital natives. We embrace technologies earlier than older generations. For a couple of years now, there are lot of talks about Smart Cities, but the solutions suggested are often not very smart or sustainable. What the large corporations and governments are presenting as a “Smart City”, in reality has many elements of a technocratic dystopia, the proposed solutions are called “smart” but in reality, they are just technology oriented projects for those that can afford it. However, technology doesn’t necessarily have to have negative implications on the city. It can be used for good if directed at improving everybody’s life in the cities. We would like to explore how our cities could move towards use of digitisation to benefit us without turning the city into a place of surveillance, exploitation and exclusion.

Activities, that due to Covid-19 pandemic had to move online will include:

  1. Podcast ‘Introduction to Digital city’, available on this link
    The podcast is a result of brainstorming done by the Prepteam of the planned event “Outsmarting the paradigm”. How can we digitise a case study? Listen to the stories of two citizens and let us know the answers to the questions in the last section in the comments.
  2. Webinar ‘Inclusion and Citizens’ Rights’ 28.10.2020 at 18:00 CEST
    Our team members will make a small introduction on the topic and then the registered participants will be divided into smaller groups for a workshop. Together we can brainstorm together how to make our digital cities inclusive. The team then will sum it all up for the publication.
  3. Webinar ‘Citizen Scoring’
    Many groups of people are not aware of citizen scoring. However, some councils all over Europe are now using services to apply algorithms to public data in order to segment and “score” citizens and population groups according to their social group or “risk profile”. We will talk about citizen data scoring and what should be taken in consideration when building up a truly smart city. Webinar will be streamed on Youtube and Facebook of CDN.
  4. Manifesto
    Development process will kick off for the participants of the event, the MOs and POs and WGs of CDN. The document will be polished and again discussed at CDN GA 2021.

Aim: To explore how technologies change us and our cities and rethink the concept of smart cities from a green perspective.


  • Train young people in critical assessment of technology in cities and re-evaluate its role in the urban environment;
  • Assess the Charter for the Smart Cities through the Central and Eastern European lens; 
  • Create a platform for exchange of best practices for young people interested in exploring the connection between Urbanism and/or Technology;
  • Create a set of outputs relevant and useful for the young people in the Central and Eastern Europe tackling the connection between the Cities and Technology.


The program will be based on the principles of non-formal education and intercultural learning. We strive for active, inclusive and direct communication and transfer and sharing of knowledge. 

Sessions will be balanced between theoretical inputs, training, workshops, discussions, reflection, planning, brainstorming and other interactive methods of learning.

By the end of the project, a draft toolkit for actions which will foster public debate on smart city policies and influence local decision-making will be developed.

This project is organised by the Green European Foundation with the support of CDNEE and Wetenschappelijk Bureau GroenLinks with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation.