Justice by Design: The Case for Equitable and Inclusive Smart Cities for Animal Dwellers

Mancini, Clara; Metcalfe, Daniel and Hirsch-Matsioulas, Orit (2023). Justice by Design: The Case for Equitable and Inclusive Smart Cities for Animal Dwellers. In: Heitlinger, Sara; Foth, Marcus and Clarke, Rachel eds. Designing More-than-Human Smart Cities - Beyond Sustainability, Towards Cohabitation. Oxford University Press (In Press).

URL: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/designing-...

Abstract

This book chapter discusses the implications of extending the principles of equity and inclusivity that inform existing conceptions of smart sustainable cities to animal dwellers, leveraging Nussbaum’s theory of multispecies justice, according to which a just smart city would offer animals opportunities to pursue biologically relevant goals and achieve basic species-specific capabilities. Two cases of human-animal cohabitation exemplify requirements that a just smart city would need to meet to enable multispecies cohabitation: supporting animals’ sensemaking of and interaction with urban affordances, enabling them to autonomously pursue their biological goals; managing affordances by balancing the interests of one species against the interests of other species, as well as the interests of individuals against the interests of their species; accounting for different perspectives and narratives on interspecies relationships, when making and implementing decisions. Finally, the chapter proposes an iterative model of a just smart city in which technological interventions are informed both by principles of multispecies justice and by multispecies data, to enable the emergence of cohabitation forms that are incrementally equitable and inclusive for a growing range of species and individuals.

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