Cities have been, since their birth, deeply bound to civilization. Population, resources and knowledge have been increasingly accumulated in their streets and buildings for millennia.
These characteristics have placed cities at the vanguard of the great changes in history. Imperial China’s cities permitted the invention of paper, Gutenberg designed its printing press in the German city of Mainz and the incandescent light bulbs were invented by Edison in a suburb of New York, to give just a few examples.
This transformative role is very much alive today in our cities where they are, more than ever, the meeting places of ideas, the perfect ecosystem for innovation. In more recent years, cities have also become themselves the object of the transforming activity they generate, aiming to improve sustainability, mobility and the quality of life of their inhabitants generally.
Open innovation is one of the tools to best funnel this innovation in order to transform cities in a participative and sustainable way. Emergence and success of initiatives like crowdfunding platforms, smartphone applications thought to ease citizens’ lives and the first steps from administrations towards more Open Government are examples of the interest and need of advancing in that way.
The Center for Innovation in Cities puts together a group of academics with experience in open innovation, new technologies and public administration that, under the Institute for Innovation and Knowledge Management at ESADE, will focus its research on analyzing, proposing or inspiring solutions to improve the management of cities.