Art and ICT. Citizens and Sustainability.
The project will develop the ICT components necessary to support the bottom-up emergence of ecological corridors in urban areas.
Ecological corridors are ephemeral living structures in the form of green spaces connected through animal life (such as bee colonies), that are set up and maintained by communities to regenerate areas of the city, particularly areas which are undergoing social and urban stress. These corridors can contribute to social cohesion and sustainability by raising awareness and minimizing resource waste. Several ICT technologies are crucial to achieve such corridors: embedded systems, novel sensors, low energy computing, and sensor networks are needed for monitoring soil quality, plant growth processes, animal activity, pollution and the movement and interaction of people within the local environment. Mobile communication and geoinformatics are needed for aggregating sensory data and projecting it in real time onto maps. Complex systems analysis, low energy computing, and machine learning are needed for detecting patterns to allow prediction and the shaping of ongoing social and biological processes, and novel user interfaces are needed to make embedded technologies accessible and usable without requiring sophisticated background or training.
The project will be highly innovative because it opens up a new application area for a whole range of ICT technologies and because it generates deep challenges that will push the state of the art for each technology as well as their integration into a complex distributed system. The project will also innovate by putting artistic methodologies at the heart of the project. Ecological corridors require disruptive action in the city and intense participation of citizens which will not happen by itself. The role of artists is to help create a safe space for the needed disruptive action and to develop effective representations that would increase participation and help to dissiminate the results of the project.