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Adoption gap issues for smart cities:
Governance, citizenship, ethics, vision
Rob Kitchin
MUSSI, National University of Ireland Maynooth
@robkitchin
• Programmable City
• ERC and SFI funded
• 2013-2018
• progcity.maynoothuniversity.ie
• Building City Dashboards
• SFI funded
• 2016-2020
• dashboards.maynoothuniversity.ie
Research
The Smart City
• Generally encompass three dynamics:
• Instrumentation and regulation
• Economic policy and development
• Social innovation, civic engagement and hactivism
• Many cities have smart city offices and programmes (e.g., Smart
Dublin)
• Well organised epistemic community and advocacy coalition
operating across scales
• Strong policy mobility between cities
• Utilises a set of interrelated digital technologies
Smart City technologies
Domain Example technologies
Government
E-government systems; online transactions; city operating
systems; performance management systems; urban
dashboards
Security and
emergency services
Centralised control rooms; digital surveillance; predictive
policing; coordinated emergency response
Transport
Intelligent transport systems; integrated ticketing; smart travel
cards; bike/car share; real-time passenger information; smart
parking; logistics management; transport apps
Energy Smart grids; smart meters; energy usage apps; smart lighting
Waste Compactor bins and dynamic routing/collection
Environment Sensor networks (e.g., pollution, noise, weather; land
movement; flood management)
Buildings Building management systems; sensor networks
Homes Smart meters; app controlled smart appliances
Civic Various apps; open data; volunteered data/hacks; sharing
services
1. Governance issues (approach)
• From a smart city perspective a city is largely:
• a system of systems
• that are knowable and manageable and act in
rational, mechanical, linear & hierarchical ways
• can be steered & controlled through technical levers
• urban issues can be solved with technical solutions
• is a generic analytical category
• Smart city technologies generally enact algorithmic &
data-driven governance and forms of automated
management. These:
• facilitate and produce instrumental, functionalist,
technocratic, top-down forms of governance &
government
• Underpinned by ethos of stewartship (for citizens) or
civic paternalism (what’s best for citizens)
• Often provide ‘sticking plaster’ or ‘work around’
solutions, rather than tackling root & structural causes
Governance (approach)
• Cities:
• are complex and ever-evolving, full of inter-
dependent, contingent and relational actors,
actants, processes and relationships
• full of culture, politics, competing interests, and
wicked problems
• difficult to predict and develop in capricious ways
• have varying histories, cultures, economies,
politics, legacy infrastructures, political and
administrative geographies, interconnections and
interdependencies with other places
• Needs:
• co-creation, co-production, citizen engagement
• be open and transparent in their formulation and
operation
• be used in conjunction with a suite of aligned
interventions, policies and investments that seek
to tackle issues in complementary ways
• Need to be set within wider long-term plan/vision
for the city by the city
Governance issues (practice)
• Momentum: Government like an oil-tanker and difficult to shift direction
• Risk: city admin aims to provide stability, certainty and reliability in delivery of city
services. A lot of smart city technology is not mature
• Trust: that new initiatives will work. City admins have a long history of purchasing
technologies that are costly and do not always deliver on promises
• Value for money and return on investment: unclear what ROI is, when to enter
market, initial finance models
• Competing demands and overloaded: city admin are responsible for managing a
range of infrastructures and services. Unless a proposed solution will solve a
critical problem will find it difficult to compete for attention and resources
• Procedural issues: cities are bound up in regulations concerning procuring services
and technologies and working with other bodies
• Inertia and resistance: city admin already have existing practices and legacy
systems and are full of internal politics, fiefdoms, and competing interests
• Weak staffing and skills capacity re. smart city technologies
• Fragmented and piecemeal approach; lack of joined-up thinking across LAs, their
departments, and other stakeholders, and a preponderance of siloed-systems
Scalar and stakeholder issues
• Fractured landscape
• With respect to geography
• Back-to-back services and planning
across municipalities
• Scalar organisation – local, county,
regional, state, federal
• Mismatch of functional territories
and administrative geographies
• With respect to stakeholders
• Within municipalities, across
municipalities, with public sector
agencies, industry, universities,
NGOs, community organisations
• Different goals, resources,
practices, institutional structures,
funding models, etc.
• Variations in data ontologies within and
between scales/stakeholders
• Lack of joined up smart city systems
• Sub-optimal solutions/planning
2. Citizens/citizenship
• How are citizens framed within and treated by smart
city programmes and technologies?
• How do smart cities conceive and operationalize
citizenship and social justice?
• A critique of smart cities is that they primarily serve
the interests of states and corporations more than
they do citizens:
• The smart city is “underpinned by a neoliberal
conception of citizenship that favours consumption
choice and individual autonomy within a framework
of constraints that prioritize market-led solutions to
urban issues, reinforced through practices of
stewardship (for citizens) and civic paternalistic
(deciding what is best for citizens) enacted by states
and companies, rather than being grounded in civil,
social and political rights and the common good”
(Cardullo & Kitchin 2017).
• The response has been to reframe smart cities as
‘citizen-centric’ or ‘citizen-focused’
• But what does that mean in practice?
Form and Level of
Participation
Role
Citizen
Involvement
Political
discourse/
framing
Modality
Dublin
Examples
Citizen Power
Citizen Control
Leader,
Member
Ideas, Vision,
Leadership,
Ownership,
Create
Rights,
Social/Political
Citizenship,
Commons
Inclusive,
Bottom-up,
Collective,
Autonomy,
Experimental
Code for Ireland,
Tog
Delegated Power
Decision-maker,
Maker Civic Hacking,
Living Labs,
Dublin BetaPartnership Co-creator
Negotiate,
Produce
Participation,
Co-creation
Tokenism
Placation Proposer Suggest
Top-down, Civic
Paternalism,
Stewardship,
Bound-to-
succeed
Hackathons,
Fix-Your-Street,
Smart Dublin
Advisory
Network
Consultation
Participant,
Tester,
Player
Feedback
Civic
Engagement
CIVIQ, Smart
Stadium
Information Recipient
Browse,
Consume,
Act
Dublinked,
Dublin
Dashboard, RTPI
Consumerism
Choice Resident,
Consumer
Capitalism,
Market
Smart building/
Smart district
Smart meters,
Mobile/locative
media
Non-
Participation
Therapy Patient, Learner,
User, Product,
Data-point
Steered,
Nudged,
Controlled
Stewardship,
Technocracy,
Paternalism
Dublin Bikes,
Smart Dublin
Manipulation Traffic control
Citizens/citizenship
• Number of key questions that presently largely unanswered:
• How does the smart city frame citizens?
• How are citizens expected to act and participate in the smart city?
• How is public space and the urban commons framed and regulated in the
smart city? To what extent do smart city initiatives fuel privatisation of
public space, gentrification, gated communities?
• What sort of publics can be formed and what actions can they take?
• Does the need for order, and the priorities of capital and property rights,
trump individual and collective liberty?
• What models of citizenship are enacted within the smart city?
• What systems and structures of inequality are (re)produced in the smart
city?
• To what extent are forms of class, racism, patriarchy, heteronormativity,
ableism, ageism, colonialism (re)produced in the smart city?
• What are the ethical implications of urban big data and smart city
initiatives?
• What forms of social justice do/should operate in the smart city?
• What are citizens’ rights to the smart city?
Social justice and smart cities
• Smith (1994) Geography and Social Justice
• Egalitarianism argues for equality in terms of distribution of wealth and power
across all members of a society regardless of ability and inheritance
• Utilitarianism seeks the greater good for the greatest number
• Libertarianism prioritises the value of the individual over the state and society and
suggests that the free-market is inherently just
• Contractarianism seeks to find a distributional arrangement of resources that all
involved considers just (not equal)
• Marxism argues that society has to be restructured away from its current
capitalist base into a society where the full value of an individual’s contribution is
rewarded
• Communitarianism rejects both individual self-determination and state
sanctioned arrangements and promotes the ideas of community and shared
practices and values
• Feminism argues for the redistribution of power, so that power relations between
different groups becomes more just
• Which one adopted would lead to different conception of a just smart city
3. Ethical and security concerns
• Smart city systems create a number of
ethical and security concerns
• Surveillance and privacy harms
• Ownership, control, data markets
• Social sorting / redlining
• Predictive profiling / anticipatory
governance
• Nudge / behavioural change
• Dynamic pricing
• Data security
• Control creep
• Buggy, brittle, hackable urban systems
Location/movement tracking
• Controllable digital HD CCTV cameras +
ANPR + facial recognition
• Smart phones: cell masts, GPS, wifi
• Sensor networks: capture and track phone
identifiers such as MAC addresses
• Wifi mesh: capture & track phones with wifi
turned on
• Smart card tracking: barcodes/RFID chips
(buildings & public transport)
• Vehicle tracking: unique ID transponders for
automated road tolls & car parking
• Other staging points: ATMs, credit card use,
metadata tagging
• Electronic tagging; shared calenders
Hacking the city
• Weak security and encryption
• Insecure legacy systems and poor
maintenance
• Large and complex attack surfaces
and interdependencies
• Cascade effects
• Human error and disgruntled
(ex)employees
Suggested solutions
• Market:
• Industry standards and self-regulation
• Privacy/security as competitive advantage
• Technological
• End-to-end strong encryption, access controls, security controls, audit trails,
backups, up-to-date patching, etc.
• Privacy enhancement tools
• Policy and regulation
• FIPPs
• Privacy by design;
• security by design
• Governance
• Vision and strategy: (1) smart city advisory board and smart city strategy;
• Oversight of delivery and compliance: (2) smart city governance, risk and
compliance board;
• Day-to-day delivery: (3) core privacy/security team, smart city
privacy/security assessments, and (4) computer emergency response team
4. Vision
• Smart cities mostly driven by instrumental
concerns/questions
• What would a smart city look like/operate
if driven by normative questions?
• For whom and what purpose are smart
cities being developed?
• Are smart cities primarily about – or
should be about:
• creating new markets and profit?
• facilitating state control and
regulation?
• improving the quality of life of
citizens?
• What kind of cities do we want to create
and live in?
• Not simply from an instrumental
perspective, but with respect to
issues such as fairness, equity, justice,
citizenship, democracy, governance
and political economy
Conclusions
• Cities around the world are increasingly utilising smart city
technologies to solve urban issues
• The adoption of such technologies are however often
piecemeal, shaped by a number of factors, including:
• Governance issues
• Citizenship issues
• Ethical and security issues
• Vision issues
• In general, not enough attention has been focused on
addressing these concerns
• Until they are (partially) resolved, smart city rollout will be
suboptimal and continue as it has to date
http://progcity.maynoothuniversity.ie/
@progcity
Rob.Kitchin@mu.ie
@robkitchin
https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/people/rob-kitchin
http://dashboards.maynoothuniversity.ie/
@dashbuild

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Adoption gap issues in smart cities

  • 1. Adoption gap issues for smart cities: Governance, citizenship, ethics, vision Rob Kitchin MUSSI, National University of Ireland Maynooth @robkitchin
  • 2. • Programmable City • ERC and SFI funded • 2013-2018 • progcity.maynoothuniversity.ie • Building City Dashboards • SFI funded • 2016-2020 • dashboards.maynoothuniversity.ie Research
  • 3. The Smart City • Generally encompass three dynamics: • Instrumentation and regulation • Economic policy and development • Social innovation, civic engagement and hactivism • Many cities have smart city offices and programmes (e.g., Smart Dublin) • Well organised epistemic community and advocacy coalition operating across scales • Strong policy mobility between cities • Utilises a set of interrelated digital technologies
  • 4. Smart City technologies Domain Example technologies Government E-government systems; online transactions; city operating systems; performance management systems; urban dashboards Security and emergency services Centralised control rooms; digital surveillance; predictive policing; coordinated emergency response Transport Intelligent transport systems; integrated ticketing; smart travel cards; bike/car share; real-time passenger information; smart parking; logistics management; transport apps Energy Smart grids; smart meters; energy usage apps; smart lighting Waste Compactor bins and dynamic routing/collection Environment Sensor networks (e.g., pollution, noise, weather; land movement; flood management) Buildings Building management systems; sensor networks Homes Smart meters; app controlled smart appliances Civic Various apps; open data; volunteered data/hacks; sharing services
  • 5. 1. Governance issues (approach) • From a smart city perspective a city is largely: • a system of systems • that are knowable and manageable and act in rational, mechanical, linear & hierarchical ways • can be steered & controlled through technical levers • urban issues can be solved with technical solutions • is a generic analytical category • Smart city technologies generally enact algorithmic & data-driven governance and forms of automated management. These: • facilitate and produce instrumental, functionalist, technocratic, top-down forms of governance & government • Underpinned by ethos of stewartship (for citizens) or civic paternalism (what’s best for citizens) • Often provide ‘sticking plaster’ or ‘work around’ solutions, rather than tackling root & structural causes
  • 6. Governance (approach) • Cities: • are complex and ever-evolving, full of inter- dependent, contingent and relational actors, actants, processes and relationships • full of culture, politics, competing interests, and wicked problems • difficult to predict and develop in capricious ways • have varying histories, cultures, economies, politics, legacy infrastructures, political and administrative geographies, interconnections and interdependencies with other places • Needs: • co-creation, co-production, citizen engagement • be open and transparent in their formulation and operation • be used in conjunction with a suite of aligned interventions, policies and investments that seek to tackle issues in complementary ways • Need to be set within wider long-term plan/vision for the city by the city
  • 7. Governance issues (practice) • Momentum: Government like an oil-tanker and difficult to shift direction • Risk: city admin aims to provide stability, certainty and reliability in delivery of city services. A lot of smart city technology is not mature • Trust: that new initiatives will work. City admins have a long history of purchasing technologies that are costly and do not always deliver on promises • Value for money and return on investment: unclear what ROI is, when to enter market, initial finance models • Competing demands and overloaded: city admin are responsible for managing a range of infrastructures and services. Unless a proposed solution will solve a critical problem will find it difficult to compete for attention and resources • Procedural issues: cities are bound up in regulations concerning procuring services and technologies and working with other bodies • Inertia and resistance: city admin already have existing practices and legacy systems and are full of internal politics, fiefdoms, and competing interests • Weak staffing and skills capacity re. smart city technologies • Fragmented and piecemeal approach; lack of joined-up thinking across LAs, their departments, and other stakeholders, and a preponderance of siloed-systems
  • 8. Scalar and stakeholder issues • Fractured landscape • With respect to geography • Back-to-back services and planning across municipalities • Scalar organisation – local, county, regional, state, federal • Mismatch of functional territories and administrative geographies • With respect to stakeholders • Within municipalities, across municipalities, with public sector agencies, industry, universities, NGOs, community organisations • Different goals, resources, practices, institutional structures, funding models, etc. • Variations in data ontologies within and between scales/stakeholders • Lack of joined up smart city systems • Sub-optimal solutions/planning
  • 9. 2. Citizens/citizenship • How are citizens framed within and treated by smart city programmes and technologies? • How do smart cities conceive and operationalize citizenship and social justice? • A critique of smart cities is that they primarily serve the interests of states and corporations more than they do citizens: • The smart city is “underpinned by a neoliberal conception of citizenship that favours consumption choice and individual autonomy within a framework of constraints that prioritize market-led solutions to urban issues, reinforced through practices of stewardship (for citizens) and civic paternalistic (deciding what is best for citizens) enacted by states and companies, rather than being grounded in civil, social and political rights and the common good” (Cardullo & Kitchin 2017). • The response has been to reframe smart cities as ‘citizen-centric’ or ‘citizen-focused’ • But what does that mean in practice?
  • 10. Form and Level of Participation Role Citizen Involvement Political discourse/ framing Modality Dublin Examples Citizen Power Citizen Control Leader, Member Ideas, Vision, Leadership, Ownership, Create Rights, Social/Political Citizenship, Commons Inclusive, Bottom-up, Collective, Autonomy, Experimental Code for Ireland, Tog Delegated Power Decision-maker, Maker Civic Hacking, Living Labs, Dublin BetaPartnership Co-creator Negotiate, Produce Participation, Co-creation Tokenism Placation Proposer Suggest Top-down, Civic Paternalism, Stewardship, Bound-to- succeed Hackathons, Fix-Your-Street, Smart Dublin Advisory Network Consultation Participant, Tester, Player Feedback Civic Engagement CIVIQ, Smart Stadium Information Recipient Browse, Consume, Act Dublinked, Dublin Dashboard, RTPI Consumerism Choice Resident, Consumer Capitalism, Market Smart building/ Smart district Smart meters, Mobile/locative media Non- Participation Therapy Patient, Learner, User, Product, Data-point Steered, Nudged, Controlled Stewardship, Technocracy, Paternalism Dublin Bikes, Smart Dublin Manipulation Traffic control
  • 11. Citizens/citizenship • Number of key questions that presently largely unanswered: • How does the smart city frame citizens? • How are citizens expected to act and participate in the smart city? • How is public space and the urban commons framed and regulated in the smart city? To what extent do smart city initiatives fuel privatisation of public space, gentrification, gated communities? • What sort of publics can be formed and what actions can they take? • Does the need for order, and the priorities of capital and property rights, trump individual and collective liberty? • What models of citizenship are enacted within the smart city? • What systems and structures of inequality are (re)produced in the smart city? • To what extent are forms of class, racism, patriarchy, heteronormativity, ableism, ageism, colonialism (re)produced in the smart city? • What are the ethical implications of urban big data and smart city initiatives? • What forms of social justice do/should operate in the smart city? • What are citizens’ rights to the smart city?
  • 12. Social justice and smart cities • Smith (1994) Geography and Social Justice • Egalitarianism argues for equality in terms of distribution of wealth and power across all members of a society regardless of ability and inheritance • Utilitarianism seeks the greater good for the greatest number • Libertarianism prioritises the value of the individual over the state and society and suggests that the free-market is inherently just • Contractarianism seeks to find a distributional arrangement of resources that all involved considers just (not equal) • Marxism argues that society has to be restructured away from its current capitalist base into a society where the full value of an individual’s contribution is rewarded • Communitarianism rejects both individual self-determination and state sanctioned arrangements and promotes the ideas of community and shared practices and values • Feminism argues for the redistribution of power, so that power relations between different groups becomes more just • Which one adopted would lead to different conception of a just smart city
  • 13. 3. Ethical and security concerns • Smart city systems create a number of ethical and security concerns • Surveillance and privacy harms • Ownership, control, data markets • Social sorting / redlining • Predictive profiling / anticipatory governance • Nudge / behavioural change • Dynamic pricing • Data security • Control creep • Buggy, brittle, hackable urban systems
  • 14. Location/movement tracking • Controllable digital HD CCTV cameras + ANPR + facial recognition • Smart phones: cell masts, GPS, wifi • Sensor networks: capture and track phone identifiers such as MAC addresses • Wifi mesh: capture & track phones with wifi turned on • Smart card tracking: barcodes/RFID chips (buildings & public transport) • Vehicle tracking: unique ID transponders for automated road tolls & car parking • Other staging points: ATMs, credit card use, metadata tagging • Electronic tagging; shared calenders
  • 15. Hacking the city • Weak security and encryption • Insecure legacy systems and poor maintenance • Large and complex attack surfaces and interdependencies • Cascade effects • Human error and disgruntled (ex)employees
  • 16. Suggested solutions • Market: • Industry standards and self-regulation • Privacy/security as competitive advantage • Technological • End-to-end strong encryption, access controls, security controls, audit trails, backups, up-to-date patching, etc. • Privacy enhancement tools • Policy and regulation • FIPPs • Privacy by design; • security by design • Governance • Vision and strategy: (1) smart city advisory board and smart city strategy; • Oversight of delivery and compliance: (2) smart city governance, risk and compliance board; • Day-to-day delivery: (3) core privacy/security team, smart city privacy/security assessments, and (4) computer emergency response team
  • 17. 4. Vision • Smart cities mostly driven by instrumental concerns/questions • What would a smart city look like/operate if driven by normative questions? • For whom and what purpose are smart cities being developed? • Are smart cities primarily about – or should be about: • creating new markets and profit? • facilitating state control and regulation? • improving the quality of life of citizens? • What kind of cities do we want to create and live in? • Not simply from an instrumental perspective, but with respect to issues such as fairness, equity, justice, citizenship, democracy, governance and political economy
  • 18. Conclusions • Cities around the world are increasingly utilising smart city technologies to solve urban issues • The adoption of such technologies are however often piecemeal, shaped by a number of factors, including: • Governance issues • Citizenship issues • Ethical and security issues • Vision issues • In general, not enough attention has been focused on addressing these concerns • Until they are (partially) resolved, smart city rollout will be suboptimal and continue as it has to date