Smart cities: towards a new citizenship regime?

Partners of the International Eco-Cities Initiative have published an article analysing the role of citizenship in British smart city standards.

Since 2014, a suite of eight smart city standards has been published by the British Standards Institution (BSI), providing policy and practice guidance on smart city development. Previously, much of the emergent smart city discourse had been criticised for being too technology-oriented, with not enough focus on citizenship. What role is envisioned for the citizen in the new BSI smart city standards – have they adequately responded to these concerns?

This research article, co-authored by Simon Joss, Matthew Cook and Youri Dayot and published in the Journal of Urban Technology, provides a conceptual framework for citizenship and undertakes a detailed textual analysis of the standards, showing that there is indeed a strong emphasis on citizens as actors in smart city initiatives. However, the way their role is envisioned carries some shortcomings and contradictions.

The article concludes with recommendations for both further theory and practice development.

Download the paper (open access)

Image copyright: Simon Joss – Daejeon ‘smart city’.