Yesterday, I attended a launch of something the local authorities here
call "Smart Aarhus", "Aarhus as a smart city", etc. One of the backdrops
is that about 30% of the city is to be rebuilt over the next ten years,
and the city planners want to think IT infrastructure into the changes.
What's special is that they invite grassroots participation. I will be
joining a working group on security and privacy, it seems. I am also
trying to form a local working group of the FSFE, and I plan to be
sending them lots of recommendations from the perspective of indivudual
freedom, enabling of community action and free software. That sort of
grassroots involvement may not be what they want, however. I know for a
fact that some of the organizers are genuinely interested in creating a
community process, but on the larger and political level I could fear
it's mainly "democracy-wash" before they roll out an Orwellian nightmare
courtesy of IBM and Microsoft.
(We are already well on the way with the roll-out of a new "travel card"
which records the movements of passengers of public transportation.)