The Inconvenient Truth about Smart Cities – There aren’t any!

Scientific American points out an important issue about smart cities: “The current reality of smart cities is that there aren’t any. At the end of the day, most so-called smart cities are just cities with a few or several standout smart projects.”

Somewhat of a catchall term for wired, ubiquitous, connected or networked cities, a smart city refers to the technological and data-driven urban systems designed for efficient, resilient and economic growth. They are supposed to be cities of the future that leverage technology and data to improve the lives of citizens and to become more proactive and responsive to the needs of the city. These goals are achieved, the theory goes, by running the city on an integrated operating system where ubiquitous broadband service and sensors master myriad city functions in real time.

The movement toward smart cities signifies attempts by public and private industry to tackle the complexity and, oftentimes, incoherence of urban design efforts to create livable and sustainable communities. However, the potential of smart cities to deliver on their goals should not be mistaken with reality of smart cities.

The current reality of smart cities is that there aren’t any. At the end of the day, most so-called smart cities are just cities with a few or several standout smart projects. (Scientific American)

Kendra Smith proposes three critical questions for any successful implementation efforts for smart cities:

How will a smart city affect social justice in my city?

What does it really cost to develop a smart city?

Who decides what the city really needs and will operate going forward? (Scientific American)

All are important points to consider while assessing the success of any smart city projects. Check the rest of the article here.

 

(Image Credit: businessinsider)

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