2018Making a Civic Smart City: Designing for Public Value and Civic ParticipationE. Gordon, B. Coleman, J. Harlow, M. Teng, and L. MeaningBerkman Klein Center for Internet & Society with Knight Foundation

Making a Civic Smart City

The dominant discourse of the smart city is focused primarily on issues of technology: the integration of networked devices into the built environment of the city, the use of big data and algorithms, and the construction of smart infrastructure are all centered in our conception of what it means for a city to be smart. While these technologies have been beneficial to many cities, a concerning trend has emerged in which smart technology is implemented without the consultation or engagement of publics. Running parallel to these concerns are the issues of transparency and accountability in the use of personal data collected in the course of implementation and administration of smart city technologies. Unfortunately, in current practice the smart city often becomes a project implemented by gov- ernments and corporations, with communities being excluded from knowledge, discussion, and the decision-making processes.