I-spot: A solution for Athens
A few months ago, for the needs of our graduate course on Smart Cities, our Professor Betty Tsakarestou challenged us to explore the globe and find out what makes a city sustainable, smart or simply better for its habitants to live in. Our team (Christina Charalampidou, Marieta Christopoulou and Effie Tzoumani) chose Latin America to begin with and then slowly moved to our most familiar continent, Europe and the cities Barcelona, Lisbon, Berlin, and Istanbul. After all these trips, we came up with the idea of “Athens I-Spot”.
“Many tourists that come to our hostel, are looking desperately for alternative paths of Athens”. These are the words of Dimitris, a receptionist in downtown Athens that spots exactly a need that we thought there is out there, to the people who visit the capital of Greece. There are plenty of information online and offline for mainstream tours in Athens, but in order to find something special that fits your tastes, you would probably find many difficulties on the road.
“I couldn’t imagine that this is a part of Athens”. Hristo, a journalist from Bulgaria, came to Greece with the belief that Athens is the Acropolis. Touring the city with a local, he realised that the beauty of this city is much more than ancient marbles. Faliro is also a part of Attiki and he was amazed to have visited it.
The need of alternative paths when visit Athens, was also underlined by the founders of “Spotted by locals” during their lecture in the context of our classes. They showed us, how their idea to share information by locals has been really successful and useful for the people around the world.
So, we tried to find a solution for Athens, for all those visitors who are willing to see the town closer.
As we travelled mentally to the globe for our lessons, we learned about Barcelona and it’s innovative program. Amongst smart ideas that were impelemented in order make Barcelona a smart city, we loved “Smartquesina”, a digital display that gives information on bus-arrival waiting times. We took the idea and expanded it to “I-Spot Athens”.
When in Athens, the lack of public wifi and of an official tourism office, does not help at all anyone who would like to search for information on touristic issues. But even if someone finds wifi from a cafe, the “googling” can not lead to good results. There is a lack of information about lifefull nearby neighbourhoods and cultural events and of course there is always a risk to ask personally a local for suggestions.
I-Spot Athens will solve all this problems, easy and fast. Our proposition consists the establishment of an interactive screen in most popual touristic hotspots. By simply touching the screan, the interested visitor will be able to gain information about transportation, walking routes, sightseeing, cultural events, restaraunts, bars etc. It will be a free service as for the operation costs, the adds that will be displayed on the establishement will bring revenues.
The smart “I-Spot Athens” will detect the region of the user and provide the needed informations. Whether you have half a day or a whole day to spare, it will suggest several routes for getting to. It will also propose unique element’s in Athens urban landscape, events that happen to take place nearby etc.
Take a look at the presentation of I-spot!