Urenio Watch Watch: Intelligent Cities / Smart Cities

Rethinking the Smart City: Democratizing Urban Technology

democratizing_technologyIn this report, Francesca Bria and Evgeny Morozov discuss how cities can regain control over technology, data, and infrastructure, as well as over the services that are mediated by smart technologies’”such as utilities, transportation, education, and health. Through a wide range of case studies from across the globe, the authors discuss alternative smart city models, which rely on democratic data ownership regimes, grassroots innovation, and cooperative service provision models.

The“smart city’ has been quite a trendy concept during the last years. Smart cities make clever use of resources, and attract money, corporate power, and private industries. Laying out what works and what doesn’ t in the smart city of today, the authors carefully assess what is at stake and for whom. At the same time, they offer practical solutions for how cities can be smart while retaining their technological sovereignty.


Another Kind of Smart       (By the Editors)

Rethinking the Smart City

Democratizing Urban Technology       (By Evgeny Morozov and Francesca Bria)

Section I

  1. The Smart City: A Counter-History
  2. Smartness and Neoliberalism
  3. Cities of Privatized Keynesianism
  4. Smart Austerity
  5. Technological Sovereignty: A Potential Solution?
  6. Strategic Interventions and Potential Alliances

Section II

  1. Smart Cities: Democratic and Common Alternatives
  2. The Right to the Digital City: Towards Technological Sovereignty.
  3. Creating Alliances Beyond Predatory Digital Capitalism.

About the authors

Evgeny Morozov is a prominent critic of digital capitalism, dealing with questions of how major technology companies are transforming society and democracy. The author of several books, he also writes for various newspapers, including The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

With a background in social science and innovation economics, Francesca Bria is an expert in digital strategy, technology, and information policy, who is active in various innovation movements advocating for open access, open technologies, and digital rights. She is currently Chief Technology and Digital Innovation Officer at the Barcelona City Council.

Read and download the whole report here.