New publication: Smart Cities – Heading Toward Panopticons or Smart Societies?

A. de Moor (2020). Smart Cities: Heading Toward Panopticons or Smart Societies?, ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society, Vol.49, No.3, pp.16-17.


Smart cities are all the rage. To many, they seem to be a panacea to address all the city’s “wicked problems”. To this purpose, much effort and money is spent on developing high-tech Big Data and AI solutions. In this short essay, I argue that it is equally important to invest in unlocking the potential of the HUMAN intelligence embodied in the network of communities that together make up local society. One technique to do so is to – together with local communities – map and make sense of the “collaboration ecosystems” in which they meet and mingle. to truly build the capacity to address the plethora of societal problems we are facing.

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View on the map of the #Brno2050 collaboration ecosystem map co-created by representatives of the local communities.

Making sense of the #Brno2050 collaboration ecosystem map in the Brno public library.

For more background on the CIDES project in which the participatory mapping approach for the #Brno2050 participatory agenda setting process mentioned in the essay was piloted see the blog Mapping the social innovation ecosystems around public libraries together: the Czech connection(s) and related publication Stimulators and barriers towards social innovations in public libraries: Qualitative research study.

Posted by Aldo de Moor

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