LSECities – Urban data conference – March 2014

LSECities – Urban data conference – March 2014

I’ll be participating as a discussant at a conference organised by Adam Greenfield at the London School of Economics on Friday March 14. Read more about the speakers and programs on the LSECities announcement or on Adam Greenfield’s blog post. It should be a provocative day!


The Urban Data from Fetish Object to Social Object conference in London was fantastic, lots of great ideas discussed by people doing really neat things with social data. Sjors Timmer did a nice post about the conference.

Games in transport: Grr-Grr-Bike case study

GGBike-doorI just posted the paper I wrote jointly with Peter Purgathofer and Fares Kayali of the Institute of Design and Assessment of Technology Vienna University of Technology about the use of games in transportation, with a focus on the technical evaluation of the Grr-Grr-Bike game prepared by Peter and Fares last spring. Here’s the paper abstract:

This paper presents an introduction to using games in transportation. Many organizations are using online games to help explain complicated subjects, increase awareness and encourage participation, three key transportation agency objectives. The Grr-Grr-Bike game was developed to better understand how mobile games could be designed to achieve these objectives. In the game players swipe the screen to guide a bike rider along an increasingly more complicated streetscape while avoiding opening car doors and stopping at traffic lights. The game’s objective was to encourage people to get involved in local bike planning and to teach them about urban cycling. The prototype game was released in January 2013 and then evaluated by game design experts. The experts produced a research report with improvement recommendations. The paper begins by providing an introduction to using games in transportation including example games, then uses the expert recommendations for Grr-Grr-Bike to illustrate important game design concepts, and finally presents general recommendations for using games in transportation.

You can download the paper from my publications page or directly via this link.

I’ll present the paper at a poster session on Monday morning January 13, 2014 between 8:30 -10:45 AM, Hilton International Center.

Hope to see you there!

We Bike prototype

Last week I participated in the Velopolis 2025: How mobile are urban societies in the future? workshop at Vienna’s MAK museum. The workshop was sponsored by the MAK and Vienna’s Departure Program. It was led by Sandra Y. Richter from the MIT Media Lab. On the first day we focused on developing scenarios for the future of urban bike transport. It was a fun and interesting way to think about the future in a structured way.

On Friday we broke into three groups and developed bike products for the future. Our group decided to develop a sort of social network for bicyclists called “We Bike”. The idea was to develop some sorts of clothing or patches that people could wear to show that they were open to being approached – in the real world – for conversation and potentially to serve as tour guides to their city. The idea also included apps and new media, but the main idea was focusing on real world connections. The video we developed is at the top of the post. (Our group: Corinna Danninger, Manuel Weilguny, Oskar V. Hanstein and me.)

The other two groups focused on developing products. One developed a cool picnic basket/seat/cargo container and the other developed a concept for using compressed air to keep you dry when riding in the rain … I wish I had that for my ride today.

It was a neat event both because we worked on bicycle ideas and because we learned some of the prototyping techniques used at the MIT Media Lab.

Vienna public involvement in transport app development

Meine Radspur Application Vienna Austria

meine-radspur is a GIS app developed in Vienna that tracks the routes used by bicyclists. Riders can indicate hazards and places that need improvements later.

I’m organising a roundtable discussion on using social applications (social networks, crowd sourced reporting, online games, wikis, and other tools) for helping improve sustainable transport.

We’ll start by identifying existing applications and then brainstorm ideas for Vienna (and beyond). If there’s interest we’ll organise a group to develop a real application or two. If you have questions or good examples to include in the presentation please contact me (

When: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 … 18:30 – 20:30
Where: The Impact HUB Vienna, Lindengasse 56, 1070 Vienna

Please register here (free):

Proposed structure for understanding interactive city tools

Nash-Interactive City Tool Structure

I’ve just finished preparing a paper titled A Proposed Structure for Understanding Interactive City Tools for the upcoming TU Delft conference: Using ICT, Social Media and Mobile Technologies to Foster Self-Organisation in Urban and Neighbourhood Governance.

The paper turned out to be much harder than I thought to write because I kept getting different ideas on how to organize the different interactive city tools … by the way, I borrowed the name “Interactive City Tools” from Play the City, an organization doing really great work out of Amsterdam. It refers to a wide set of applications and information technologies that can be used to help the public get involved in improving cities.

The paper was useful for me because it gives me a structure for thinking about interactive city technologies. It’s already helped me as I prepared a proposal for developing an application designed to improve the intermodal station planning process.

The figure above is from the paper. It shows the five main elements of the proposed structure: input, analysis, support, collaboration, and output. Most applications cover several of these elements which is one reason developing the structure was difficult.


Paper: A Proposed Structure for Understanding Interactive City Tools

Presentation: Interactive City Tools – a proposed structure for understanding

Conference Papers and Presentations: Using ICT, Social Media and Mobile Technologies to Foster Self-Organisation in Urban and Neighbourhood Governance

Grr-Grr-Bike smart phone game

Grr-Grr-Bike! (working title) is a new smart phone app game designed to link players with local bike advocacy groups and provide some funding to these groups through in-app purchases. We have finished the prototype and are now working on fundraising to get the app finished.

That’s the YouTube Grr-Grr-Bike! game introduction video up above.

We need to raise 10,000 Euros to finish the game and put it on the app store. We are raising funds via the crowd funding application Indiegogo, here’s the Grr-Grr-Bike! Indiegogo information page (donate here!). There’s some fun perks for people who donate. UPDATE: We did not raise our goal and so we’re looking for other funding opportunities.

Even if you can’t donate, it would be great if you spread the word to your friends who are bikers and/or gamers … even watching / liking the video on YouTube will help.

Let me know if you have any ideas or questions in the comments and thanks for your help.

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