Thursday, 19 October 2017

Public Lecture Presentations

Our concluding public lecture on the 27th September was well attended with over 30 people present including several from the City of Johannesburg.

Attendees at the public lecture listen intently to Prof Cohen

Professor Jason Cohen introduced the project and Professor Judy Backhouse set the scene by discussing the various ways in which Smart Cities are defined and how our project had adopted an inclusive definition.

Prof Backhouse defines a Smart City

There were two strong themes that emerged from the project. The first was the ways in which Smart Cities contribute to equality. Prof Cohen shared work which showed that connected people enjoy far better quality of life than those that are not connected. The second theme was the need for trust between government and citizens which emerged from many of our sub-projects. Mr Jean-Marie Bancilhon presented some of these results.

Mr Bancilhon discussing the importance of trust
As an example of the kind of smart application that would lead to smarter cities, Mr Obakeng Matlhoko showcased the AftaRobot transport app intended to improve the experience of mini-bus taxi commuters and improve the management of taxi fleets.

Mr Matlhoko presents AftaRobot
Thanks to all who attended as well as to all who supported our research over the past four years.

The presentations can be downloaded here:
Smart People, Smart Cities

The event was covered by Wits Vuvuzela. Read their story.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Public Lecture: Smart People, Smart Cities

You are invited to a Public Lecture
Smart People, Smart Cities

Professor Jason Cohen and Professor Judy Backhouse

The Information Systems for Smart Cities in Africa project ran from 2014 to 2016 and investigated the information needs and preferences of residents of Johannesburg and how these needs mapped to the city’s information services.  This public lecture concludes the project, presenting three of the key themes to emerge from the research.

Our research highlighted the need to move the Smart City discourse from technology-focused to resident-focused. Key themes that emerged as specific to our position in South Africa and Africa included how smartness is understood, how smart cities can be inclusive and the importance of trust in developing the Smart City.

Mr. Obakeng Morapeli Matlhoko

As an example of an African Smart City solution, Sowertech will showcase their AftaRobot smart taxi app and discuss the implementation challenges.

Corner Jan Smuts Avenue and Empire Roads
Wednesday the 27th September
5:30pm to 6:30pm
Registration and refreshments from 5:00pm

Monday, 24 July 2017

Conference paper on Smart Transport

The following conference paper was presented at the ACIST 2017 conference in Cape Town recently.

This paper was based on data that student Lizalise Myataza collected during her BCom honours degree. The paper looks at the transport-related mobile apps that have been developed in SADC countries and the extent to which they exhibit "smart" features. We propose a framework for evaluating the "smartness" of apps that goes beyond only evaluating technological features and incorporates the human user.

Backhouse J and Myataza L (2017). Smart transport systems in SADC countries. Proceedings of the African Conference on Information Systems and Technology, 10-11 July 2017, Cape Town, South Africa. Paper 17.

The paper can be downloaded here.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Published papers 2014 to 2016

Here is a consolidated list of the papers published by this project in the past three years, with links for you to access the papers. We are expecting a few more during 2017 and will post an updated list later in the year.

Cohen, J., Backhouse, J. and Ally, O. (2016). Youth Expectations of Smart City Living: An Importance-Performance Analysis of Young Residents’ Perspectives of City Government,
Commonwealth Youth and Development, 14(1) 118-128. 

Backhouse, J. and Masilela S (2016). Using personas to understand city residents’ information needs and evaluate city information services. Proceedings of the African Cyber Citizenship Conference 2016, 31 Oct- 1 Nov 2016, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. pp.232-242.

Backhouse, J. and Hughes, M. (2015). An ecological model to understand the variety in undergraduate students’ personal information systems, The African Journal of Information and Communication, Issue 15, pp. 14-24.

Topo, M. and Backhouse, J. (2015). Explaining the Use and Non-Use of Smart Cities Services in Johannesburg: Residents' Perspective. Paper presented at the 12th Prato CIRN Conference 9-11 November 2015, Prato, Italy.

Backhouse, J. (2015). Smart city agendas of African cities. Proceedings of the African Conference on Information Systems and Technology (ACIST) 2015, 7-8 July 2015. Accra, Ghana.

Backhouse, J. and Hughes, M. (2015). An ecological model of the information behaviour and technologies of undergraduate students in a South African university. Southern African Computer Lecturer’s Association conference 2015, 1-2 July, Johannesburg, South Africa

Backhouse, J. and Cohen, J. (2014). 'What is a Smart City for Information Systems Research in Africa? Review Protocol and Initial Results', Proceedings of the African Cyber Citizenship Conference 2014, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. ISBN: 978-1-920505-46-3.