Challenges in Using IoT in Public Spaces

  • Ulf Hedestig
  • Daniel SkogEmail author
  • Mikael Söderström
Conference paper
Part of the EAI/Springer Innovations in Communication and Computing book series (EAISICC)


Over the past decades a number of new perspectives on public administration have emerged, for instance New Public Service, New Public Governance, and Digital Era Governance. Several of these perspectives seem to have the concept of co-production in common, implying that the public sector engages citizens to take part in the design and execution of services. A rather new way to achieve co-production in the public sector has been to utilize crowdsourcing or social media monitoring. However, the way these “methods” have been implemented in public sector is often associated with difficulties, and to overcome some of them we propose an Internet of Things (IoT) approach that hopefully will create improved conditions for data-driven business development. At present, the approach is tested in a local government in northern Sweden in which we have set up a Low Power Wide Area Network designed for wireless battery-operated sensors. Although the test is still in an initial stage, results so far are promising and using sensor data in business development may be one way to improve public sector services. However, our test also shows that there are some issues that are of importance when designing and using IoT in public spaces. We conclude by suggesting that the concept of affordance can be useful to understand how we design and implement sensors in public spaces.


Internet of Things Business development Affordances Public space 



We would like to thank Interreg Botnia-Atlantica 2014-2020 (grant no. 20201055) and Sweden’s Innovation Agency (grant no. 2017-02133) for financially supporting the research project discussed in this paper. We would also like to thank Katarzyna Wikström for providing us with the statistics in Fig. 5.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulf Hedestig
    • 1
  • Daniel Skog
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mikael Söderström
    • 1
  1. 1.Umeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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