If you need company during your tanning sessions on the beach, a relaxing sunday evening on the couch, or during your commute, or even if you just want to impress your friends and colleagues with your new found knowledge on Civic Tech, here are some podcasts to get you started. Learn how advances in technology impact the city of tomorrow.

Podcasts used to be plan B when you had no other media to distract yourself with, but now with their rapidly increasing popularity, podcasts are the new big thing. Here follows a list of podcasts about the future of (smart) cities in order to either get you started whether you are new to podcasts, or want to complete your podcast collection if you are a frequent listener.

Update: are you already done listening to all the 8 podcasts we recommeded below? No worries, we selected many more must-listen podcasts about Civic Tech & digital democracy. Discover this new selection of podcasts in the bonus section below.

1. MakeTechHuman on Smart Cities


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Duration: 01:04:15


MakeTechHuman concentrate theirs podcasts on the advances of technologies and how this will impacts human behaviour. This podcast by maketechhuman focuses on the future potential of Smart Cities and the consequences of the introduction of 5G data. They discuss the changes that will occur on society infrastructure and urban actions. Finally, the impact the advances will have on the health sector are also discussed.

2. Knightcities


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Duration: 19:19


Knightcities is a series of podcasts based on interviews by Carol Coletta with different civic innovators around the United States. In the latest episode, number 56, the website CityObservatory gets discussed, which contains data about cities and what makes cities successful. Joe Cortright, an economist invited as guest speaker, explains the concept of “the neighbourhood effect” as well.

3. The Responsive City: Engaging Communities through Data Smart Governance, Harvard University.

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Duration: 01:27:04


In this podcast, Harvard Kennedy School Professor Stephen Goldsmith and Visiting Professor Susan Crawford discuss their new book ‘The Responsive City‘. The Responsive City is a guide to civic engagement and governance in the digital age, which will help leaders link important breakthroughs in technology and big data analytics with age-old lessons on how small-group community’s input create more agile, competitive, and economically resilient cities. They argue that data empowers communities and officials, in order to create a more transparent, responsive and cost-effective government.

 4. Creating a Better City With Bike Shares And Smart Payments, Skift


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Duration: 25:04


This set of podcasts discusses global travel trends. In this podcast smarter and more efficient bike-share programs are discussed, how wise cities set aside politics for transportation progress, and the ways contactless payments make everything easier for tourists. They argue that cycling is the best form of transportation, as it requires no energy and doesn’t release any carbon emission. More and more cities are implementing bike sharing schemes and start facilitating transportation for tourists and locals.

5. The city of Palo Alto’s CIO explains the benefits of open data, Gigaom


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Duration: 37:33


In this episode, the biggest cloud computing story of 2013 is the main focus. Revelations from Edward Snowden that the U.S. National Security Agency gathers information about citizens from pretty much any IT company that matters, showed both the promise and risk of big data and cloud computing. This podcast explains the potential ramifications of that and also questions the usefulness of this amount of data and what it could be used for using as an example the city of Palo Alto, with Jonathan Reichental, Palo Alto’s CIO.

6. The Urbanist, Monocle


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Duration: 29:02


The Urbanist creates their podcasts with the help of an influential audience of city mayors, urban planners and architects. This is Monocle’s guide to making better cities, through for example new technology, state-of-the-art subways or compact apartments. This week’s episode is the report from Resite, a two-day conference in Prague that aims to tackle one of the biggest challenges for modern cities: migration. Experts, policy makers and many more are involved in order to understand how cities in Europe and beyond are standing up to the test. Even though migration isn’t new, it is now at the forefront of every political leader’s attention and also partly triggered the EU referendum in the UK: the Brexit.

7. Open Data and the Sustainable Development Goals, Global Development, The Guardian


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Duration: 17:16


This Global Development podcast describes how innovative ways of collecting and using data can support developing countries in both implementing and monitoring the sustainable development goals. “Data is the new gold”, said Nnenna Nwakanma, Africa’s Regional Coordinator at the Worldwide Web Foundation. The host Mark Anderson reports from the Africa open data conference in Dar es Salaam, where delegates discussed how innovative methods of collecting data could spur the drive to meet the new global goals. Experts are convinced that data is going to play a vital part in tackling global issues, such as poverty, climate change and inequality.

8. Big Data, Better Cities, Harvard University


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Duration: 11:34


Harvard Kennedy School Professor Stephen Goldsmith, Director of the Data-Smart City Solutions Project at the Kennedy School’s Ash Center, describes how city and state governments can improve services to citizens by harnessing new technologies. He describes how the increased availability of emerging technologies results in a more engaged community, better informed citizens and the data available to the government to make more informed decisions. Stephen Goldsmith also mentions the problems related to this open data and technologies advances with people fearing for their privacy.


Bonus :

9. Making cities smarter


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Listen to the podcast (Deloitte University Press)

Duration: 20:26


This podcast explores how citizens’ collective intelligence can bring to better decision-making.

It is part of the online library of Deloitte University Press.

10. Engaging Civic Tech Communities


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Duration: 27:16


In this podcast, the first Chief Data Officer of Philadelphia shares his experience and explains how to encourage Civic Tech communities.

This podcast est the episod 25 of the Data Points Podcasts show hosted by Eric Reese et Sharon Paley on GovEx.

11. Tech for Good: City Lab sandbox


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Duration: 33:31


This podcast was recorded during the City Lab event which gathers mayors, urbanists, architects et innovators from all over the world. Which topics are tackled? The Civic Tech buzzwords, smart cities and data.

This podcast is part of Tech for Good.

12. At the service of the citizen: redefining ‘Civic Tech’


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Duration: 22:17


In this podcast, the citizen activist Laurenellen McCann puts the human back into the core of Civic Tech, rather than tech itself.

This podcast is a show from Civic Radio, which aims at exploring the role of « civic » in today’s world.

13. Digital Democracy: The Cyberworld of Citizen Activism


podcast civic tech 2017Listen to the podcast (Bioneers)

Duration : 27:38


This podcast tackles the evolution of democracy in the US and how citizens can find back their place there, between politics and media.

This podcast is episod 8 of the Bioneers Series, with Brad Friedman, John Stauber et Joan Blades.

And If you want to know more…

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3 Newsletters to Fill Your Inbox with the Best of Civic Tech (EN)


10 Must-Read Books About The City Of Tomorrow (EN)


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