The Intelligent City: Stage 1: Establishment of a Community Network in Kiryat Tivon

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Gopher Daniel, Straucher Zvi. The Intelligent City: Stage 1: Establishment of a Community Network in Kiryat Tivon Haifa Israel: Samuel Neaman Institute, 2001.
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During the last decade, and in particular with the proliferation of the internet, there have been numerous attempts around the world to develop community network. Many of these networks had failed and cease to operate, many have had partial success and limited use, only few can be defined successful. It is our claim that a major contributor to the limited success was the fact that in many cases, external, commercial interests motivated the development of networks, with little concern about the community needs, priorities and technical preparedness. In other cases, the system was developed to fulfill local political interests, with little systematic knowledge on the necessary dimensions for its establishment and maintenance. We believe that to achieve its goals, the structure, hardware, software, content and organization of the system, should be adapted to fit the special profile of the community, its members and local service providers. A systematic construction of such a profile should be the basis for the development of the network. This is the work that was conducted in Kiryat Tivon, a suburban community of 15000 residents, in 4000 households, Kiryat Tivon is known for its active community life. The average education level is relatively high, with a high proportion of academics and professionals. Eighty percent of the households have a personal computer and 70% are connected to the internet.Two teams of students conducted 75 socio economical stratified, phone interviews and 40 face-to-face interviews with residents. Eighteen service providers were interviewed, including all departments of the municipality, schools library, cultural centers and health service clinics. In addition, the study team assessed the general communication infrastructure and computer facilities of the community, and examined expected performance and costs of different technological configuration. The collected information served to develop a community profile from the perspective of developing a network. It served to as basis for a recommended three-stage development program, which is accompanies by online assessment of usability and efficiency. It is our plan to join the Kiryat Tivon locl team,, during the actual development of the network.

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