Exploring the concept of a smart city from a human-centred perspective.
In my thesis, I wanted to explore the concept of the smart city and figure out how to interpret the collected data from a user-centred perspective. During my project, I collaborated with Mainor Ülemiste which applies smart city concepts, practises, and experiments with the latest technologies in Ülemiste City.
ÜC faces several challenges. Since there are over 500 companies in ÜC, green thinking is given a high priority, but they do not know where to start or what to do. I decided to focus on the impact of the companies (in terms of energy consumption, waste separation and commuting) in ÜC campus by using the data which is being collected.
By observing the campus and interviewing the employees, I found that they are aware of the sustainable actions of their companies and ÜC’ and willing to contribute, but unfortunately there is no way or medium for communication and sharing. After further research, I realised that all employees should get involved to bring about green change in the company. Finally, I understood that it is possible to engage employees in green change in ÜC through their commute, because employees’ commute has a direct and large climate impact in their companies and ÜC. This relates not only to the impact on ÜC’s car-free vision for the future and Estonia’s climate neutrality goals for 2035, but also on employees’ physical and mental health.
My design proposal is a tangible board that invites ÜC employees to think about the impact of their commute. The invitation is done through a tangible engagement in the office buildings and a direct link to an application (mobile and web version). This application helps employees track the impact of their commute and their contribution to company green goals. This application includes a dashboard that displays in real time the commuting and green report of the companies and the ÜC. It can be used by each company and the ÜC to monitor their climate impact and set green goals. My proposal engages and guides employees and creates communication between employees, sustainability/green officers and ÜC.