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Smart Urban Design Space

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The irreversible process of demographic change, especially in Germany, leads to numerous challenges. According to this, research has to face the task to integrate the constantly ageing population into the urban and public space in such a way that there are as few barriers as possible. With the support of digitalization, so-called smart urban objects are being designed in order to do make integration, so that people and the available technology can be used most efficiently. A special ontology has been developed to meet this demand.
Abstract—The irreversible process of demographic change,
especially in Germany, leads to numerous challenges.
According to this, research has to face the task to integrate the
constantly ageing population into the urban and public space
in such a way that there are as few barriers as possible. With
the support of digitalization, so-called smart urban objects are
being designed in order to do make integration, so that people
and the available technology can be used most efficiently. A
special ontology has been developed to meet this demand.
I. INTRODUCTION
he demographic change of a permanently ageing popu-
lation has become a globally visible phenomenon. Par-
ticularly in Germany, the population will be considerably
older in the future than it is at present. According to [1], ev-
ery third person will be older than 65 years of age by 2060.
Corresponding with the tendency of a permanently ageing
population goes the fact of changing needs and in daily life.
In the era of the inevitable digitalization and in particular the
Internet of Things (IoT), the challenge is to what extent digi-
talization can improve daily life for these ageing population.
Accordingly, the concept of providing the urban space with
so-called smart urban objects (SUOs) [2] is being pursued to
increase the participation of elderly people by digitalization.
These SUOs are elements of the urban environment, e.g.
lights, information boards and benches, which are connected
to a digital information space and allow for implicit or ex-
plicit interaction. The desired goal is to increase the feeling
of security on urban environment by personalization of these
objects. Some of these SUOs are described in detail in [2],
[3], [4] , [5] and [6]. The focus of this research is the inter-
section between the behavior of elderly people, currently re-
ferred to as Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), and Smart City.
The final focus of this paper is to provide an ontology for
classifying these SUOs so that both the technical aspects as
well as the aspects of the AAL are considered.
T
II. MOTIVATION AND RESEARCH QUESTION
The increase in barrier-free accessibility, especially for
older persons, will be achieved with the support of SUOs. In
order to enable a categorization of these objects, an ontology
is required which takes both technical aspects and the view
of public health and AAL into account. Based on this kind
of ontology, designers of SUOs can consider all aspects
mentioned to achieve maximum efficiency of these objects
in the later context. In order to sufficiently answer this moti-
vation, following research question is posed, which is the
central issue of this article.
How does a taxonomy for the design of SUOs have to be
constructed in order to sufficiently consider aspects of Pub-
lic Health and AAL as well as the technical perspective, so
that a maximum increase of barrier-free accessibility is al-
ready addressed during the design process?
III. RELATED WORK
At this point, approaches and solutions are described and
analyzed in terms of the way they answer the research ques-
tion of this article. Basically, ontologies exist on the one
hand in the field of Smart City and on the other hand in the
field of so-called Public Health. At this point, both direc-
tions will be analyzed in depth and compared with each
other, though the research question here characterizes ex-
actly the intersection between these two directions.
In [7] an ontology in the area of Public Health is de-
scribed, which characterizes in particular the direct situation
in the hospital. Here so-called medical classes and medical
activations exists. The former include specific diseases,
symptoms, therapies, roles and departments in the hospital.
The activations subsequently serve to bring these medical
classes together in a meaningful relationship and thus de-
scribe the applications in the field of Public Health. An on -
tology-based approach in public health with the support of a
geographic information system (GIS) is discussed in [8].
Smart Urban Design Space
Philipp Skowron
Leipzig University, Germany
Email: skowron@wifa.uni-
leipzig.de
Michael Aleithe
Leipzig University, Germany
Email: aleithe@wifa.uni-leipzig.de
Susanne Wallrafen
Sozial-Holding der Stadt
Mönchengladbach GmbH,
Germany
Email: s.wallrafen@sozial-
holding.de
Marvin Hubl
University of Hohenheim,
Germany
Email: marvin.hubl@uni-
hohenheim.de
Julian Fietkau
Universität der Bundeswehr
München, Germany
Email: julian.fietkau@unibw.de
Bogdan Franczyk
Wroclaw University of Economics,
Poland
Email:
bogdan.franczyk@ue.wroc.pl
Proceedings of the Federated Conference on
Computer Science and Information Systems pp. 493–496
DOI: 10.15439/2019F80
ISSN 2300-5963 ACSIS, Vol. 18
IEEE Catalog Number: CFP1985N-ART c
2019, PTI 493
The ontology is used for the fusion of data from social and
health related issues. Nevertheless, the GIS is the primary
focus of the description, and ontology is only used as a tool.
So therefore is no further discussion of it. In the contribution
of [9] a set of different ontologies is presented, which should
support designers in the development of so called AAL and
those services. In detail, actors, spaces and devices are mod-
eled and linked so that concrete AAL-elements can be de-
scribed that have been used within the present study. Over-
all, this type of modeling is very complex and still has no
generic character, meaning that any further use is crucial. A
framework for managing the current state as well as the
users profile information extracted from the internet and the
mobile context is illustrated in [10]. This so called Next
Generation Network (NGN) is an ontology for modeling
typical users of AAL-services. But these services are only
user centric and have no relation to technical issues. Also the
platform in [11] offers assistance in communication and in-
formation acquisition by providing personalized and con-
text-awared AAL-services. Therefore an ontology is used
whre users are the central aspect of the platform. Further-
more this ontology enables a historical view of the users
changing characteristics and environment. In view of this
explanation, only the user behavior is addressed without en-
compassing the technical factors. Also in [12] an ontology
for structuring daily living activities of users is depicted,
whereby a stronger focus is placed on the underlying aspect
of AAL and thus on elderly persons. In contrast, the ontol-
ogy in [13] discusses the technical aspects in terms of best
practice for building automation devices and functions and
how these underlying models are structured especially in the
area of AAL. But in this case there is only a technical view
without inclusion of users perspective.
In contrast to solutions of Public Health and AAL, there
are some approaches from the Smart City context. These are
presented in the following. This Smart City context is char-
acterized by data collected from various distributed systems.
Purposing these task in [14] the so called Semantic Web is
used for designing a new Smart City ontology. The primary
focus is to address the interoperability among the different
systems and frameworks for describing Smart City objects.
In [15] is an analysis about the impact of Smart City applica-
tions observed in the field of energy and transport. Besides
[15] describes [16] an ontology to describe the entire Smart
City domain. In [17] this description is extended for IoT-
based applications. Nevertheless, [14], [15], [16] and [17] all
have a strong technical focus and do not mind the user-cen-
tered perspective.
In addition to the number of ontologies mentioned so far,
a so-called Design Space is described in [18] which enables
the characterization and categorization of UI-based elements
in the development of applications. This idea would require
continuous expansion to include the sensors and applications
of the IoT arising.
In summary, a wide spectrum of previous ontologies were
presented. These addresses on the one hand the areas of
Public Health and AAL and on the other hand the topic of
Smart City. The former ontologies have a strong user-centric
focus and the latter are technically very pronounced. How-
ever, there is no solution among all approaches that repre -
sents a sufficient mix to satisfy the related research question
of this article. In addition, the investigated solutions indicate
that the aspect of interconnecting the underlying data struc-
ture is becoming increasingly important. As a result, this as -
pect would also have to be integrated more into the ontolo-
gies used in this context.
IV. DESCRIPTION OF SMART URBAN DESIGN SPACE
This chapter introduces the so-called Smart Urban Design
Space (SUDS). Such a taxonomy meets the above-men-
tioned full range of criteria in terms of technical aspects,
AAL and Public Health. A fundamental idea of this SUDS is
the networking of the separate criteria. The basic context is
represented graphically in Fig. 1, whereby each use case can
be supported by at least one or more SUOs, which are used
by at least one or more persons. In order for the SUOs to be
used by the persons per use case, it may be necessary to pro -
vide additional assistance, which is continuously referred to
as aid.
Against this background, a use case is the concrete sce-
nario in which the elderly person(s) can use the digital sup -
port outdoors (outside buildings). Concrete examples in this
context are an adaptive lighting system of the area to be
walked in during a walkway, an adaptive park bench, which
adapts to the individual sitting height of the respective per-
son as well as intelligent information spotlights, which pro -
vide personalized information of the urban space to be vis-
ited. These examples are presented in detail in chapter 5.
Within the SUDS, the three criteria SUO, Aid, and Person
exist for each use case, with their corresponding subordinate
properties. In this regard, an overview of the entire taxon-
omy is shown in Fig. 2. A person has so-called competen-
cies, which are continuously referred to as skills. These in-
clude speaking, seeing, hearing, cognitive skills such as easy
logical thinking and movement, which in this case refers to
walking without aids. The SUO contains the five criteria ac-
tuator, sensor, parallelization, personalization and interac-
tion sensor. The interaction sensor describes which human
Fig 1. This picture illustrates the entity relationship diagram of the basic
relation between smart urban objects (SUOs), the appropriate use case,
involved persons and the personalized purpose (aid).
494 PROCEEDINGS OF THE FEDCSIS. LEIPZIG, 2019
sense for an interaction of the SUO is required. It distin-
guishes between seeing, hearing and haptic handling such as
using a touch pad. In addition to operating sensors, there is
also the criterion of technical sensors, which is referred to
merely as sensors within this taxonomy. There are mechani-
cal, piezoelectric, capacitive, inductive, optical, magnetic
and signal-based practices. The latter symbolize the provi-
sion of information by an external information source. Simi-
lar to technical sensor technology, the actuator also distin-
guishes between mechanical, signal-based, optical, thermal
and acoustic variants. Personalization classifies the SUO ac-
cording to whether each individual person is addressed indi-
vidually, whether a group of people is addressed (cluster) or
whether no individual personalization (general) is satisfied.
In this context, there is also the criterion of parallelization,
whether the SUO differentiates only single-user or multi-
user in the respective use case. Similar to the SUO, the aid
has a shortened set of criteria. The interaction sensor, actua-
tor and sensor are used, with the latter describing the techni-
cal perspective. The characteristics of these criteria are anal-
ogous to those of the SUO.
V. CASE STUDY “URBANLIF E+”
In the research project UrbanLife+, the autonomy and
participation of senior citizens in urban areas is explored in
such a way that they can be increased. For this purpose, ur-
ban objects in Mönchengladbach are to be transformed into
SUOs with the help of innovative human-technology inter-
action approaches, which provide senior citizens with tech-
nical support in line with their needs and enable them to
move around the city safely [2] [5]. Three use cases are pre-
sented for these addressed solutions, which are then classi-
fied in the SUDS. These use cases are Adaptive Lighting,
Adaptive Park Bench and the Information Radiators. In the
following these are explained briefly and the classification
in the SUDS is discussed individually. Overall it is repre-
sented in Fig. 2.
A. Adaptive Lighting System
The system of the Adaptive Lighting improves the feeling
of safety on elderly people especially in dark areas at night
by personalized and position-dependend variation of inten-
sity and/or color of the light [1] [4].
B. Adaptive Park Bench
Adaptive Park benches are a kind of smart seats, that can
adjust to individual anthropometric measures of people.
Thereby the usability of the seats is enhance which in turn
also enhances safe usage. Particularly older people face se-
vere problems in sitting down and standing up at common
seats. The reason is that, the gap between standover and the
height of the seat surface imposes trouble when the older
people have weakened leg muscles, impaired balance or
general difficulties in bending their knees. For this reason
the seat surface of the adaptive park bench can lift up to the
standover of a pedestrian, which actively supports in sitting
down and standing up. For ergonomic sitting the seat surface
will be adjusted to the sitting person’s popliteal height. More
technical details are described in [2] [19].
C. Information Radiators
Information Radiators are a class of devices capable of
displaying dynamic information while installed at a static
Fig 2. This figure is the representation of the so-called Smart Urban Design Space (SUDS). It shows the basic categories SUO, Aid and Person, with
the available properties. By combining the properties of these categories addressed by the corresponding use case, a visualization similar to a dendo -
gram is generated. Furthermore in this figure, the three use cases are arranged in the SUDS. These use cases include the Adaptive Lighting, the
Adaptive Park Bench and the Information Radiator, each of which is marked in the legend.
PHILIPP SKOWRON ET AL.: SMART URBAN DESIGN SPACE 495
position in a public or semi-public environment. They can
range from large interactive screens which can be used via
touch, to small low-power devices equipped with low-reso-
lution LED displays. The informational content they show is
related to the local context. This includes, but is not limited
to, offerings by commercial and noncommercial actors in
the vicinity (such as stores, restaurants, cinemas, community
centers, sports clubs, etc). The concept is discussed in more
detail in [20].
VI. DISCUSSION
As a result of the taxonomy of the SUDS developed in
this paper, a rather interdisciplinary classification of the so-
called SUOs has been successfully achieved, without getting
stuck in technical details in this context, nor without too
one-sided a view of social criteria affecting the user. In this
context, the previous SUOs were specifically classified in
the SUDS (see Figure 3). The SUOs classified so far include
Adaptive Lighting, the Adaptive Park Bench and the Infor-
mation Radiators. In addition to these existing SUOs, there
is also the possibility of continuously classifying new ones
in order to visualize the essential aspects of the local field of
knowledge. The classification in this taxonomy (Figure 3)
shows that more or less all SUOs have similar characteristics
regarding their categories. For example, in relation to the in-
teraction sensor, which is only haptically or optically pro-
nounced in all previous objects. Consequently, an essential
motivation for further SUOs would be to include acoustic
signals in order to increase the intersection between the tech-
nical and personal skills.
VII. CONCLUSION AND OUTLOOK
Concerning the research question within this article, a tax-
onomy called SUDS was constructed which merges the re-
quired aspects of AAL, Public Health and technical aspects
and makes them usable for integrating so-called SUOs.
In the future, potentially beneficial SUOs could be deter -
mined and designed with the support of the SUDS, which do
justice to the aspects of AAL and Public Health without vio-
lating the technical conditions.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
This work was fully conducted in the scope of the re-
search project UrbanLife+ (16SV7442), funded by the Ger-
man Ministry of Education and Research.
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... The aim of the project was to encourage the elderly to participate in urban life. Together with other partners we have developed, designed and evaluated dierent smart urban objects [2,8,10,11,23,27]. ...
Conference Paper
Senior citizens face challenges during activities in urban space. To help and motivate them pursuing outside activities, we propose a network of (micro and macro) information radiators to increase their feeling of safety. In this paper we first collect guidelines and relevant aspects for the design of micro information radiators. Then we summarize our own experiences from a project designing smart urban objects - particularly giving an overview of design guidelines for input and output interaction of micro information radiators.
... • Information radiators: a class of devices that broadcast ambient information visually, ranging from large touch screens to small LED information devices (Koch et al., 2017) • Adaptive lights: public light installations that can adjust their color and brightness according to user preference or other pertinent criteria • Smart park benches: public benches for seating that are outfitted with sensors and actuators to facilitate e.g. advance reservation or subtle nudges to remind users to make room for approaching seniors (Hubl, 2019;Hubl et al., 2018) Skowron et al. (2019 provide an overview and categorization method for the SUO design space. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
During outside activities, elderly people encounter different challenges than young people. Those difficulties impede their motivation to pursue outside activities. To counter this problem from a human-computer interaction perspective, we propose a support system for seniors to improve their motivation and subjective safety while undertaking outside activities by coordinating smart urban objects. Drawing from an extensive empirical requirements analysis, we identify typical barriers experienced by seniors for which networked smart urban objects may provide assistance. We discuss a conceptual description of an activity support system: the system aggregates user profile data with information about the urban space to suggest possible activities, the elderly user chooses an activity and receives navigational assistance to increase their motivation and feeling of safety while undertaking the chosen activity. Finally, we discuss our approach regarding challenges such as user autonomy, privacy and real-world deployments, which need to be considered in future implementation and evaluation phases of the system.
Technical Report
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Außerhäusliche Aktivitäten sind ein wichtiges Element der Teilhabe älterer Menschen. Allerdings erschweren altersbedingte Mobilitätseinschränkungen oftmals diese Aktivitäten. Digitale Innovationen der Mensch-Technik-Interaktion (MTI) könnten älteren Menschen helfen, weiterhin in der Stadt aktiv zu sein und sich sicher zu bewegen. Hier setzte die Idee „smarte städtebauliche Objekte“ (SSO) des Verbundprojektes UrbanLife+ an. Im Teilvorhaben „Safety-Konzepte für die Mensch-Technik-Interaktion in seniorengerechten Stadtquartieren“ standen die Konzeption, prototypische Realisierung und Validierung von SSO im Mittelpunkt. Zwar waren Basistechnologien für SSO verfügbar, allerdings herrschte Unklarheit darüber, wie SSO auf die Mobilitätsbedürfnisse der Nutzer*innengruppe auszurichten sind und welche Wirkungen die SSO-Nutzung auf die sichere Mobilität (Safety) hat. Somit war die Zielsetzung des Teilvorhabens, (1) Anforderungen der Zielgruppe mit empirisch-quantitativen Methoden zu analysieren, (2) ein MTI-basiertes Safety-Modell für die Mobilität im öffentlichen Raum zu entwickeln, (3) Modelle für ausgewählte SSO zu entwerfen, (4) SSO prototypisch zu realisieren und (5) SSO in Anwendungsszenarien in der Stadt Mönchengladbach zu validieren. Ergebnisse des Teilvorhabens sind: Hindernde Umstände für außerhäusliche Aktivitäten älterer Menschen; Merkmale besonders unterstützungsbedürftiger älterer Menschen; Erklärungsmodell für außerhäusliche Selbstständigkeit; Erklärungsmodell für Online-Aktivitäten; MTI-Safety-Modell; Smarte Sitzgelegenheiten; Systemarchitektur für SSO; Prototypen von SSO (Hinweisgeber, Wegweiser, Sitzgelegenheit); Anforderungen an eine IoT-Plattform für SSO; Erfahrungen aus Einsatz & Erprobung einzelner SSO; Erfahrungen aus Einsatz & Erprobung vernetzter SSO. Die vorliegenden Projektergebnisse erweitern das Wissen darüber, welchen Beitrag „Smarte Städtebauliche Objekte“ zur sicheren, außerhäuslichen Mobilität älterer Menschen leisten können. Die Ergebnisse sind sowohl für Technologie- und Lösungsanbieter als auch Einrichtungen der Altenhilfe und Kommunen im demografischen Wandel relevant.
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Zielstellung der Arbeit ist die Weiterentwicklung urbaner Räume mittels intelligenter Informationstechnologien, um das Leben in der Stadt zu verbessern. Hierbei gilt ein besonderes Interesse der Inklusion von Menschen mit körperlichen Beeinträchtigungen. Eine bedeutende Gruppe ist dabei die Menge hochbetagter Bürger. Die angestrebte Weiterentwicklung zielt darauf ab, dass bis ins hohe Alter selbstbestimmte Teilhabe am städtischen Leben und somit am Leben in der Gesellschaft möglich sein soll. Denn Teilhabe am Leben in der Gesellschaft konkretisiert sich wesentlich an der selbstbestimmten Ausübung außerhäuslicher Aktivitäten. Motorische Beeinträchtigungen im Altersgang führen allerdings zu einer signifikant wahrgenommenen Abnahme der Sicherheit (Safety) im urbanen Raum und dazu, dass betroffene Menschen Angst haben, den außerhäuslichen urbanen Raum zu benutzen. Um der daraus folgenden Meidung des außerhäuslichen urbanen Raumes entgegenzuwirken, verfolgt die Arbeit den Ansatz städtebauliche Objekte mittels Technologien des Internets of Things zu neuartigen sogenannten Smarten Städtebaulichen Objekten zu transformieren, die aktive Unterstützung für außerhäusliche Aktivitäten leisten. Smarte Städtebauliche Objekte sind mit Sensorik, Aktuatorik und Informationsverarbeitungskapazitäten ausgestattet und fähig, sich an individuelle Erfordernisse von Passanten zu adaptieren. Aufgrund altentypischer motorischer Beeinträchtigungen bestehen beispielsweise besondere Erfordernisse für Sitzgelegenheiten. Neben der informationstechnologischen Transformation einzelner städtebaulicher Objekte bestehen im urbanen Raum darüber hinaus wichtige Anforderungen an smarte städtebauliche Objektverbünde. Mittels einer intelligent koordinierten, gezielten Zurverfügungstellung der unterstützenden Funktionalitäten einzelner Smarter Städtebaulicher Objekte wird der urbane Raum als Gesamtsystem zu Adaptivität an Passantenerfordernisse ertüchtigt. Die Arbeit eruiert die Konzeption für eine adaptive Stadt mit einem Safety-Engineering-Ansatz am Beispiel smarter Sitzgelegenheiten und entwickelt ein Verfahren zur intelligenten Koordination für den smarten städtebaulichen Objektverbund. Für eine erfordernisgenaue Allokation einzelner smarter Sitzgelegenheiten als öffentliche Objekte wird dazu ein Wohlfahrtskalkül zugrunde gelegt, welches in dem Sinne gerecht sein soll, dass eine Übervorteilung einzelner Passanten vermieden wird. Mithilfe von Methoden der Künstlichen Intelligenz entwickelt die Arbeit ein heuristisches Verfahren für die Suche nach einer Lösung gemäß des Wohlfahrtskalküls. Dies implementiert dem Wohlfahrtskalkül zugrundeliegende Aspekte der Theorie der Gerechtigkeit nach John Rawls für das Beispiel des urbanen Raums. Eine szenariobasierte Simulation weist nach, dass der entwickelte Lösungsansatz die Safety-orientierte Wohlfahrt im urbanen Raum effektiv erhöhen kann.
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