Learning how to know thyself?

The Collective Awareness Platform(CAPS) project called MAZI is a DIY networking toolkit for location-based collective awareness which aims to ‘develop technology and knowledge in order to empower those who are in physical proximity, to shape their hybrid urban space, together, according to the specificities of the respective local environment’ (MAZI 2016). This is a hybrid program developing physical components with the use of low cost technology. In addition, facilitating hybrid, virtual and physical, local networks, which supports the emerging role of ‘smart citizen’.

The methodology of the pilot demonstrates an iterative feedback system with data collection and synthesis towards social learning. The working of the project shows a lot of meetings, events and infrastructure development, working with skills within the locality, supported by the MAZI program.


Authors (Hemment and Townsend 2013: 1-3) consider that this approach is a necessary shift away from only ‘big technology’ solutions in smart city design. A focus on ‘bottom up’ innovation and collaborative working has potential to re-engage people as the centre of the process with investment in ‘place’ at local level.IMG_0041

The MAZI project initiating a range of activities in Deptford, is developing skills and community network infrastructure in collaboration with local people and organisations.



MAZI CreekNet profile.

In ‘To know thy City, know Thyself’ Townsend looks at ‘small scale place making’ drawn in part from the historic work of Geddes and how currently the way people interact in urban life is changing through technology. Personal mobility generates data through ‘smart’ locative technology and allows near constant communication, both individual and linked to broader data streams. This informs how ‘grassroots efforts to reshape cities are actually trying to change the ways things work at a local level, amongst people, to create new (healthier, greener) systems.’(p.25)







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