COMMUNITY – AI for Health-Sociality

City of things:

Antwerp Living Labs: Smart City innovation built upon stakeholder input
Utilizing citizen provided data to enhance quality of life

We are at the heart of our cities now, and always will be. How can our day-to-day experience improve the overall urban health? How can the data collected by citizens jump start innovation? The city of things project aiming at making urban life more enjoyable and sustainable by building solutions tailored to the specific local needs. In Antwerp, the aim of the program is to turn the city into a living lab where businesses, researchers, citizens and city officials can co-create, test and experiment with smart technologies that aim to make urban life more enjoyable and sustainable.

Local Attainment

Urban Innovation

Smart Governance

Individual Contribution

Building the ideal city of the future using AI based data analysis


To develop a truly smart city, the involvement of all stakeholders –citizens, businesses, authorities and researchers – is essential from the very outset. The City of Things provides the city of Antwerp with a unique infrastructure to develop and test innovative solutions to tackle its urban challenges.

  • Smart People: Thorough user research based on our living lab methodology is the backbone of our smart city projects and determines our research roadmap.
  • Smart Environment: By collecting and analysing data on air pollution, water flows and weather conditions, we want to move towards a healthy and sustainable city.
  • Smart Mobility: Understanding how people move around the city can enable safer and more efficient mobility, e.g. with smart traffic lights, autonomous cars, real-time traffic apps, etc.
  • Smart city architecture: Our mission is to create an inspiring ecosystem, bringing together insights from all three areas (Smart People, Smart Mobility & Smart Environment)and using these to build a sound foundation for smart city projects across the world.


What if our city could see, feel and respond to our needs?
Surveillance Speaker
Dries Depoorter

“Surveillance Speaker ” is an installation about surveillance and artificial intelligence. The artwork showcases in a critical way the latest breakthroughs in computer vision software. It aims to challenge the way people look in the eyes of a surveillance camera that can speak and convey what is sees. How does it feel not only to be observed by a camera, but also to be verbally informed about this observation? How do I look into the ‘eyes’ of a surveillance camera that can speak? The comments of the camera cause irritation.

Where the lifeless technology suddenly appears as an acting, speaking being, there are only two ways to react: with horror or with laughter. Dries Depoorter prefers the latter, inviting the audience to playfully interact with his installation. Which of my actions can the software classify and where does it reach the limits of its ability to interpret? In a humorous way, the young Belgian addresses the phenomenon of global surveillance in public space and the advancing capabilities of technology. His installation shows how surveillance software ticks, how it perceives its environment and processes information. Depoorter gives us a picture of what artificial intelligence is now capable of and how ubiquitous technology is invading our lives. The artist raises questions with his »Surveillance Speaker« but does not provide any answers. Viewers decide for themselves whether they take the installation as an opportunity to concern themselves with the protection of their own privacy or whether they succumb to the fascination of the technology.

A surveillance camera recording with a 360° panning device, a loudspeaker and a computer. When the surveillance software recognizes a person, the computer starts to work and we hear what the camera sees. The audience can interact in a playful way how a computer can see.

The artist programmed the surveillance software to translate the recorded images into speech. The camera uses the loudspeaker to tell passers-by what it saw. Depoorter personalized the device with technology reports from the first-person perspective.

Dries Depoorter is a Belgium artist that handles themes as privacy, artificial intelligence, surveillance & social media. He creates interactive installations, apps and games that raise questions about the human-machine dynamic.