Bristol – The Bristol Approach

Location Bristol
Name The Bristol Approach
Community Level City wide/ neighborhoods
Sector Digital Commons, Smart city as a commons, smart tech for the people by the people
Year of beginning 2016
People involved  
Who started the initiative (NGO, public administration, association) Association, Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) together with Ideas for Change and Bristol City Council
Object “The Bristol Approach to Citizen Sensing” is a project spearheaded by the Knowle West Media Centre in the city of Bristol that involves many community associations, artists, residents, and organizations in different neighborhoods. The project aims at creating a participatory urban commons framework, where citizens can work together with artists, activists and techies, to prototype sensor technologies that they actually need and want,  and that could actually better their everyday lives. Indeed, the Bristol Approach tries to counteract a trend common to our cities today, which pushes for the development of smart devices that are often designed to be profitable. According to this project then, people and communities should be at the center of innovation in the city. Setting up a program for participatory sensing thus attempts at mapping the opinions, creative ideas, and needs of ordinary people, introducing technologies to citizens, which not only participate in designing new devices but also share the benefits of the common digital knowledge they create.

The ultimate goal of the Bristol Approach is the “creation of a new ‘urban commons’ where digital tools and data are used for the benefit of all”.

Field urban
Source website


Project Details

Added: 8.06.18