If the Smart City is deemed the solution to twenty-first century urbanisation, then it masks an abyss of hidden vulnerabilities for citizens. The blind belief that technology makes things better fails to address key questions around increasing urbanisation, or how it affects citizens and communities. With intense forms of surveillance purporting to offer better services – improved safety, liveability and accessibility – the Smart City, it seems, comes at a high cost to its citizens.
Geo-social data and real-time analytics, too, seem to displace citizen engagement. And, while governments are increasingly working with the private sector, producing knotty questions around transparency and control, with the pace of change, social infrastructure appears out of step with digital infrastructure.
Public engagement with the Smart City is a step toward thinking through these issues for twenty-first century citizens in an increasingly sensor-laden environment.
This e-book includes four articles by global engagement academics and consultants and presents nine summaries of recent research that explore key issues including data-driven participation, citizen exclusion and resilient smart city planning.
Sally Hussey is Bang the Table's Principal Writer and Editorial Director. She has an extensive background in the publishing, academic and cultural sectors.