Third Thursday: Alternative Camden

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Event finished: 21st November 2019

Alt.cmd is a new take on an innovation district, set up to give people the freedom to create a more democratic and inclusive city. Alt.cmd provides a new platform-as-a-service in the Camden and Euston area to accelerate civic innovation. We have now completed the first stage of four experiments, exploring technological and regulatory innovation. 

We started with a IdeasLab and CitizenLab, from there we selected four experiments and developed them over the past three months. On the 21 st November – a year after we started alt.cmd – we want to share the findings of those experiments into technological and regulatory innovation, discuss exciting ideas and share our plans for the future.

In the last year we have focused on a series of interlinked questions facing London: What is the future of the high street? How to create sustainable urban neighbourhoods? How can we navigate risks opened up by digital urbanism? How can we define, filter and move opportunities forward? We want to discuss our work and We recognise that in an uncertain world the key contribution alt.cmd can make to the future is creating the capacity for inclusive experimentation across society – by building the infrastructure for civil society, activism, social entrepreneurs and startups to co-shape how our future places are made. 

The Experiments

  • Improve my Street – A new, informed and apolitical participatory budgeting process.
  • Smart Noise Licensing – Feasibility study for managing the night time economy and urban noise pollution through a peer-2-peer feedback platform and open audio sensors.
  • Smart Covenant – A new type of property contract that could help more fairly distribute the value created by public infrastructure.
  • Rooftop Planning Rights – A service that sits on the council website and uses automated processes to simplify getting permission for developing on rooftops. 


  • 18:00 – Registration
  • 18.30 – Talks
    • Welcome – Euan Mills (Connected Places Catapult)
    • Alt.cmd introduction – Simon Pitkeathley (Camden Collective)
    • The experiments – Improve my Street (William Ginestier),
      Smart Noise Licensing (Joost Beunderman),
      Smart Covenant (Oliver Burgess) and
      Rooftop Planning Rights (Katinka Schaaf)
    • Closing and Questions – Indy Johar (Dark Matter Labs)
  • 19.15 Networking
  • 20.30 Event finishes