Too-smart cities? Why these visions of utopia need an urgent reality check

Too-smart cities? Why these visions of utopia need an urgent reality check

Responsive urban technology sounds enticing but citizens must not be disconnected from plans drawn up on their behalf
by Gary Graham who receives funding from the EPSRC Digital Economy Nemode and Sustainable Societies Initiatives. They funded his placement to Boston.

I recently attended a government meeting about future cities and found that all the discussion related to branding, bio-tech innovation, hi-tech transport infrastructure and opportunities for universities.

I pointed out that at least half the population doesn’t engage with such things directly, if at all. Most people are more concerned with how to get by, and even how to survive in an increasingly hostile city. One civil servant replied, “Oh, you mean the dark underbelly …” This, it seems to me, is exactly how elevated mandarins in London see normal people who live in inner-city communities.

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