LinkedIn emplea cookies para mejorar la funcionalidad y el rendimiento de nuestro sitio web, así como para ofrecer publicidad relevante. Si continúas navegando por ese sitio web, aceptas el uso de cookies. Consulta nuestras Condiciones de uso y nuestra Política de privacidad para más información.
LinkedIn emplea cookies para mejorar la funcionalidad y el rendimiento de nuestro sitio web, así como para ofrecer publicidad relevante. Si continúas navegando por ese sitio web, aceptas el uso de cookies. Consulta nuestra Política de privacidad y nuestras Condiciones de uso para más información.
This presentation was delivered at the Right to the Smart City workshop at Maynooth University, Sept 5-6 2017. It sets out a set of questions and theoretical concepts for thinking through issues of citizenship, social justice, and the right to the smart city.
Citizenship, social justice, and the Right to the Smart City
Citizenship, social justice, and
the Right to the Smart City
National University of Ireland Maynooth
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.,
• 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
E-government systems; online transactions; city operating
systems; performance management systems; urban
Centralised control rooms; digital surveillance; predictive
policing; coordinated emergency response
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
• But how are citizens framed within and treated by smart
city programmes and technologies?
• Initial critique of smart cities was that:
• their framing and operation was top-down, technocratic,
• aimed at controlling and disciplining citizens, as well as producing
and reinforcing neoliberal logics of urban management and
marketising city services
• That is, the smart city serves the interests of states and
corporations more than it does citizens
• The response was to reframe smart cities as ‘citizen-
centric’ or ‘citizen-focused’
• But what does that mean in theory and practice?
• 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
• 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
• What forms of social justice operate in the smart city?
• What are citizens’ rights to the smart city?
• How do we balance varying needs/desires in
the smart city?
• The answers to these questions necessitates
• How citizens are presently framed in smart city
• Citizenship, social justice, and legal and moral
geographies with respect to the smart city
• Normative thinking concerning what kind of
smart city do we want to create and live in
• Want to consider using
Sherry Arnstein’s ladder
of citizen participation
• Rework and apply to
evaluate smart city
initiatives in Dublin and
whether they produce
• Number of issues with
the framework, but still
• Based on work with
Paolo Cardullo (2017)
Form and Level of Participation
Citizen Power Citizen Control
Form and Level of
Code for Ireland,
Maker Civic Hacking,
Dublin BetaPartnership Co-creator
Placation Proposer Suggest
Therapy Patient, Learner,
Manipulation Traffic control
• T.H. Marshall (1950) defined citizenship in terms of three sets of rights:
• Civil/legal: institutionalised through the law, includes the right to own
property; freedom of speech, thought and faith; liberty of the person; and
the right to justice;
• Political: institutionalised in the political system (state, regional, local
government), includes the right to vote and participate in the exercise of
• Social: the right to a certain level of economic welfare and security
• Recently, added:
• Symbolic, cultural: the right to express an identity, and for recognition and
• Citizenship is both a set of practices and a bundle of rights and duties
that define an individual’s membership in a polity
• Important here is the notion of duties, in which membership rights are
twinned with responsibilities
• What are the rights, duties and responsibilities of citizens in the smart
city? To what extent do these vary across cities, initiatives,
• How does one be a ‘good’ citizen? And how is one sanctioned if they do
• 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).
• What should the conception of ‘smart’ citizenship be?
• How should this be informed by theories of social justice?
Theories of social justice
• 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
• 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
• Controllable digital HD CCTV cameras + ANPR + facial recognition
• Smart phones: cell masts, GPS, wifi
• Sensor networks: capture and track phone identifiers such as
• Wifi mesh: capture & track phones with wifi turned on
• Smart card tracking: barcodes/RFID chips (buildings & public
• Vehicle tracking: unique ID transponders for automated road tolls
& car parking
• Other staging points: ATMs, credit card use, metadata tagging
• Electronic tagging; shared calenders
• Privacy harms: mobile pervasive surveillance, social/spatial
sorting, anticipatory governance, dynamic pricing, control creep
• Affects groups of citizens differentially
A just smart city?
• Egalitarians would see the privacy harms & differential treatment as an affront
to their principles of equality and demand that it be removed or made equal in
• Utilitarians would treat the problem as a social nuisance that ought to
addressed for the greater good as it reproduces and deepens inequalities and
their long term effects
• Libertarians would put the rights of private property owners at a premium and
what happens between the parties involved is a private matter
• Contractarians would look at the problem from all sides, arguing that if we are
all unwilling to tolerate such privacy harms then nobody should and the systems
should be dismantled
• Marxists would argue that system that led to surveillance capitalism needs to be
changed to a social democracy where people are not discriminated, exploited
• Communatarianists would suggest that within a community system based upon
shared experiences and commonality such a system would not have arisen and
such principles need to be adopted
• Feminism would argue for end to practices of discrimination and a
redistribution of power relations so that citizens have a much stronger say in
how such systems work
How do we ensure the right to
the smart city?
• State and corporate visions of the smart city are rooted in
neoliberal urbanism and citizenship and libertarian notions
of social justice
• Smart city seems to be driven by concerns of control and
the interests of capital rather than interests of citizens
• Do participatory or co-creation approaches offer a more
just smart city?
• Or are they largely framed within a neoliberal approach or
work at a level that mitigates issues locally but doesn’t
challenge dominant political economy?
• How might a truly ‘citizen-centric’ smart city be enacted?
• How does one produce a more emancipatory smart city?
• At this stage I don’t have a lot of answers to all the questions
I’ve posed; especially with respect to ideological & normative
• I think very few working in the smart city space do either
• Most work relating to smart citizens is rather shallow or
instrumental or concerns civic participation or notions of sharing
or commons, but is not deeply rooted theories or normative
debates re. citizenship/social justice
• And that’s my challenge to you all over the next two days in the
discussion — to ask and tackle deeper ideological and normative
questions re. ethics, rights, justice and the smart city
• To think about how we can reframe, reimagine and remake smart
cities — theoretically, politically, practically — that ensures the
right to a just smart city for all
• Session 1: Citizenship and the Smart City
Katharine Willis (Plymouth, UK), Ava Fatah (UCL, UK), Ana Baltazar (UFMG, Brazil) &
Satyarupar Shekhar (CAG, India); Jiska Engelbert (Erasmus, Rotterdam); Réka Pétercsák &
Mark Maguire (Maynooth);Cesare Di Feliciantonio (Maynooth)
• Session 2: Urban Commons
Ramon Ribera-Fumaz (UoC, Barcelona); Michiel de Lange (Utrecht, Netherlands); Paolo
Cardullo (Maynooth): Smart Commons or a smart approach to the Commons?
• Session 3: Co-creation and city governance
Nancy Odendaal (Cape Town, South Africa); Anna Davies (TCD); Robert Bradshaw
• Session 4: Public labs, living labs, citizen science
Tara Whelan (Limerick); Gabriele Schliwa (Manchester, UK); Claudio Coletta & Caspar
• Session 5: Shared city making (civic hacking, civic media)
Andrew Schrock (Chapman, USA); Catherine D’Ignazio, Eric Gordon & Elizabeth
Christoforetti (Emerson, USA); Sung-Yueh Perng (Maynooth)
• BCD VR/AR demo/feedback