Crowd-sourced monitoring of Urban Qualities

The use of smart phones and highly pervasive sensors in smart cities provide tremendous opportunities to monitor urban qualities such as noise, traffic jams, light as well as more complex indicators such as stress, safety, greenery and others. These measures can be estimated using sensors from smart phones such as microphone, accelerometer, GPS, light as well as virtual sensors that compose together several data streams from physical sensors, i.e. a mobility measurement may be a composition of accelerometer and GPS data. Given that such measurements have a privacy cost for citizens, as well as a significant infrastructural cost is required to deploy designated sensors for data collection, citizens can contribute their computational resources and perform these collective measurements in a cooperative way without storing personal data at third parties.

This opportunity opens up pathways for highly participatory smart cities, where citizens play an active role in sustainability initiatives.

Real-time Distributed Voting

In contrast to existing voting and online petition systems, a DIAS enabled voting system allows citizens to make real-time autonomous choices that take into account the collective impact of citizens’ decisions. A choice of a selected state among the possible states can be used as a private vote and the collective measurements can be used as a real-time public trend for decision support. In contrast to centralized polls that are subject of manipulation and can be use to nudge final decisions, DIAS is accountable to the people who run it, the actual voters. Real-time opinion formation can be made and changes of selected states, meaning changing of votes, can allow consensus.

Crowd-sourced Demand-side Energy Management and Virtual Power Plants

Power demand data can reveal highly sensitive information about citizens, for instance, occupancy and choices of TV programs. Power system operators and utility companies though require to know the total power demand to monitor the stability of the grid and schedule the matching of supply-demand. Energy markers do not always result in fair pricing schemes for citizens. Bottom-up demand-response programs are an alternative in which smart houses can run a DIAS network to become more aware about the total energy consumption and make collective decisions about how to reduce demand during power peak times or increase demand when there is available a high level of renewable energy resources. Moreover, groups of prosumers can run a DIAS network to monitor their energy production and form virtual power plants that can trade energy and provide ancillary type of services.