Publication Date: 28th August 2019
PB, 14.99 [pounds sterling], ISBN: 9781787691384
We live in an increasingly urban world. According to the World Bank, cities accounted for 54% of the world's population in 2017, and, at current rates of expansion, they will grow to 68% by 2050. Planners, developers and politicians are turning to technology to provide some hope of managing this seemingly relentless urban growth. In doing so, they frequently turn to big companies such as IBM and Google which hold out the promise that advances in information and communication technology can create a 'smarter city' that improves the lives of its residents.
But what makes a city smart? The Smart City In A Digital World takes on this question by describing, challenging, and offering democratic alternatives to the view that the answer begins and ends with technology. In the wake of the 2008 global financial meltdown, large corporations moved in on cities around the world to sell technology, harvest valuable data, and deepen the private governance of urban life. They partnered with governments to promise what on the surface look like unalloyed benefits to city dwellers: safer streets, cleaner air, more efficient transportation, instant communication for all, and algorithms that take governance out of the hands of flawed human beings. But does another story lie beneath that shiny surface? Technology-driven smart cities deepen surveillance, shift urban governance to private companies, shrink democracy, create a hacker's paradise, and may hasten the coming of catastrophic climate change.
The Smart City In A Digital World insists that people make cities smart, that human governance still matters, and that genuinely intelligent cities start...