Germaine Halegoua

Key terms, definitions, illustrations, and historical settings for comprehending smart cities are provided, along with analyses of the advantages and disadvantages of this method of solving urban issues.
A rather utopian image of urban life rendered knowably and managed through data gathering and analysis has been espoused by urban planners, technological corporations, and governments during the past ten years. The actual implementation of the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and big data integration into daily life have transformed emerging smart cities into testbeds and showrooms. Are digitally networked, optimized smart cities solutions to urban issues? Or are they corporate-controlled, anti-democratic non-places that adhere to neoliberalism? This book from the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series provides a succinct overview of smart cities, outlining important ideas, terminology, examples, and historical backgrounds. It also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of urban planning.

The book discusses three models for the creation of smart cities—smart-from-the-start cities, retrofitting cities, and social cities—after evaluating the present terminology and reasoning used by technology designers, journalists, and researchers. Each model is illustrated with examples. It addresses how developers envision interactions among the built environment, technology and urban infrastructures, citizens, and citizen involvement. It covers technologies and methodologies like sensors, public wi-fi, big data, and smartphone apps. The author, who has researched smart cities worldwide, makes the case throughout the book that those creating them should collaborate more closely with the locals, taking into account their historical connections to urban space and the limitations of technical solutions. The goal of improving urban life quality is achieved via intelligence.