Smart Cities: Theory and Criticism of a Self-Fulfilling Ideal - AD Primer.pdf
The books opens with an examination of the technological reality on which Smart Cities are built, from the chips and sensors that enable us to monitor what happens within the infrastructure to the smart phones that connect individuals. Through these technologies, the urban space appears as activated, almost sentient. This activation generates two contrasting visions: on the one hand, a neo-cybernetic ambition to steer the city in the most efficient way; and on the other, a more bottom-up, participative approach in which empowered individuals invent new modes of cooperation. A thorough analysis of these two trends reveals them to be complementary. The Smart City of the near future will result from their mutual adjustment. In this process, urban space plays a decisive role. Smart Cities are contemporary with a ‘spatial turn’ of the digital. Based on key technological developments like geo-localisation and augmented reality, the rising importance of space explains the strategic role of mapping in the evolution of the urban experience. Throughout this exploration of some of the key dimensions of the Smart City, the book constantly moves from the technological to the spatial as well as from a critical assessment of existing experiments to speculations on the rise of a new form of collective intelligence. In the future, cities will become smarter in a much more literal way than what is often currently assumed.