Learning lessons for avoiding the inadvertent exclusion of communities from smart city projects

Valdez Juarez, Miguel; Wigley, Edward; Zanetti, Olly and Rose, Gillian (2020). Learning lessons for avoiding the inadvertent exclusion of communities from smart city projects. In: Aurigi, Alessandro and Odendaal, Nancy eds. Shaping Smart for Better Cities - Rethinking and Shaping Relationships Between Urban Space and Digital Technologies. London: Academic Press, pp. 221–237.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-818636-7.00003-2

Abstract

More and more actors in smart cities acknowledge that the successful design of many smart city projects relies on engagement from citizens, workers, and residents. This chapter reflects on the development of a toolkit for avoiding the inadvertent exclusion of communities from smart city projects. The toolkit was based on a 2-year research project in a medium-sized town in the United Kingdom that examined a range of different kinds of smart city initiatives, from a large-scale data hub to a suite of citizen-generated apps. The project was able to identify a number of key challenges for businesses, local authorities, and community organizations in approaching the design of smart projects to maximize engagement. It also paid particular attention to one means often adopted as a way of communicating about smart projects: visuals. The chapter explores what tools these smart city actors can use to avoid inadvertent exclusion in their projects, to enhance the potential value of smart technologies, policies, and processes.

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