Equitable Cities Instead of Smart Cities

Ungbha Korn, Jenny
Journal of Civic Media

A glance at the headlines involving smart cities reveals that the “race for smart cities” is happening.1, 2 The word “race” is frequently associated with “smart city,”but that usage of race emphasizes competition, speed, and regulation, while masking power, equity, and justice for the people of different races living in those
smart cities. Public resistance to the
neoliberal value of efficiency as the impetus behind civic policies may be found online, as more individuals acknowledge that government plans to become smart cities have not considered certain groups
of people, historically and currently. I use
this essay to highlight critiques about
smart cities made by digital users of color to bring attention to the people overlooked by contemporary conceptions
of the smart city. Besides emphasizing
concerns broadcasted publicly online to
be addressed by those responsible for
smart cities and civic engagement, I also analyze the philosophies imbued within those concerns to make explicit the values embedded in current discourse related to smart cities.