Smart in Performance: More to Practical Life than Hardware and Software

Hatem, Faten (2022). Smart in Performance: More to Practical Life than Hardware and Software. In: ICSCUA 2022: 16. International Conference on Smart Cities and Urban Analytics, 27-28 Jun 2022, London, United Kingdom.



This paper promotes the importance of focusing on spatial aspects and affective factors that impact smart urbanism. This helps to better inform city governance, spatial planning, and policymaking to focus on what Smart does and what it can achieve for cities in terms of performance rather than on using the notion for prestige in a worldwide trend towards becoming a smart city. By illustrating how this style of practice compromises the social aspects and related elements of space making through an interdisciplinary comparative approach, the paper clarifies the impact of this compromise on the overall smart city performance. In response, this paper recognizes the importance of establishing a new meaning for urban progress by moving beyond improving basic services of the city to enhance the actual human experience which is essential for the development of authentic smart cities. The topic is presented under five overlooked areas that discuss the relation between smart cities’ potential and efficiency paradox, the social aspect, connectedness with nature, the human factor, and untapped resources. However, these themes are not meant to be discussed in silos, instead, they are presented to collectively examine smart cities in performance, arguing there is more to the practical life of smart cities than software and hardware inventions. The study is based on a case study approach, presenting Milton Keynes as a living example to learn from while engaging with various methods for data collection including multi-disciplinary semi-structured interviews, field observations, and data mining.

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