e-democ / e-gov

Major Cities of Europe IT Users Group conference

The conference in Gothenburg (or Goteborg as they write in Sweden) has come to an end. Highlights included a fantastic presentation about m-parking in Zagreb, Croatia. They’re using SMS, GPS and GPRS for an integrated parking solution which lets people pay for parking with a single SMS, no registration, nothing. Then tow trucks and parking attendants are all connected to the system in real time along with a police database of stolen/interesting vehicles. Very impressive. Shame it only works for people with Croatian mobiles!

The final day was on e-democracy and apart from my presentation we had some really interesting presentations on applications in the UK (e-voting!), Spain, Finland and Denmark. None were getting massive numbers participating but they were trying hard. We really don’t know what does and doesn’t work in e-democracy yet which is why we need to keep experimenting. And as I said in my piece, Open Source can really help provide low cost ways of doing those experiments.