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Could Smart Cities Slowly Destroy Democracy?

Could Smart Cities Slowly Destroy Democracy?
Songdo, South Korea, was built along the "smart city" template. Image © Wikimedia User G43
Songdo, South Korea, was built along the "smart city" template. Image © Wikimedia User G43

Has the concept of the smart city "crystallised into an image of the city as a vast, efficient robot?" In the age of the "Internet of Things," where does the citizen fit in? In this article from The Guardian, journalist Steven Poole takes a critical stance against the purported utopian ideals of smart cities. Poole delves into the nuances of who the smart city is truly meant to serve, questions the debate over whether it should develop along a top-down or bottom-up approach, and poses the provocative thought: "a vast network of sensors amounting to millions of electronic ears, eyes and noses - also potentially enable(s) the future city to be a vast arena of perfect and permanent surveillance by whomever has access to the data feeds." Questions of control, virtual reality, free-will, and hierarchies of power, Poole asserts are critical to the discussion of technology's powerful role in the future. Read the full article to learn more about the possible potential of the smart city to "destroy democracy," here.

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Cite: Sadia Quddus. "Could Smart Cities Slowly Destroy Democracy?" 20 Dec 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/579709/could-smart-cities-slowly-destroy-democracy/> ISSN 0719-8884
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