Marcus Foth writes in The Conversation (8.4.16) about improved approaches to city governance and urban planning that take into account ‘intelligent systems’ in the digital era.
‘The internet has reached our cities. A smart city is optimised for efficiency, productivity and comfort.
‘The smart city uses intelligent transport systems. It is administered by integrated urban command centres, which analyse the omnipresent raw material of the digital era: big data. As citizens go about their everyday lives, they leave data traces everywhere, even in the sewers.
‘Many technology companies and city governments celebrate the new enfant terrible of smart city research: the urban scientist who finally imposes a rigorous scientific (that is, positivistic) mindset on city governance. However, Jeremy Kun confirms that: … being quantitative doesn’t protect against bias.
‘Commentators such as Cat Matson, Charles Landry and Paul Mason advocate a people-centred approach to city design. In our own work, we warn that ignoring decades of research by architects, geographers, urban planners, designers and sociologists could lead to a dystopian future where humans lose agency if we mindlessly pursue convenience and efficiency.’