As 2013 drew to a close, OPEN Glasgow launched another part of the project. The Future City Literacy Programme: helping citizens acquiring the skills they need to take part fully in the Future City.

Why does a Future City need literate citizens?

Glasgow has taken the stance that a Future City isn’t simply a smart city of technology. The people make the Future City: when citizens like you and me participate and help the city meet people’s needs. Citizens need to be able to articulate their needs and be part of the solution.
“The object of the educational system, taken as a whole, is not to produce hands for industry or to teach the young how to make a living. It is to produce responsible citizens.”
Robert Hutchins (1968) The Learning Society

What is literacy?

The traditional definition of literacy is the ability to read and write or the competence in a specific area. This definition has expanded over the years: to engage with life in the city, citizens need to be able to use these skills to understand, think critically, participate in, and change the world around them.

  • What is literacy in a Future City?
  • What is the information?
  • Is it easy to access and understand?
  • Do we need other pre-requisite skills?
  • Can we translate the information into decisions? Can we see how it is relevant and beneficial to us?
  • Are we able to contribute our knowledge to the city?
  • Can we influence those around us?

Having defined the aims of the Future City literacy programme, OPEN Glasgow is now at the point of designing the initiatives: what, why, where, when, how… We’re delighted to have Icecream architecture on board to help us draw up the initiatives; they are a really interesting crew and no strangers to future city vision. More on that soon.

What does it mean to be a citizen in a Future City? How can citizens use city data?
You have a chance to participate, what do you think?

Update – Click on this link to download the Literacy Programme Scoping Document.