Smart cities are usually optimised like a business for speed and efficiency. Placemaking can slow down cities to improve health and wellbeing and promote more democratic engagement of citizens.
The trillions of dollars spent on infrastructure demands democratic transparency and accountability. This applies to both the investment and to the effects on cities, societies and the environment.
Suburban areas feel infrastructure stress most acutely. Having to deal with severe inadequacies, suburbs offer fertile ground for infrastructure experimentation and innovation.
Long-term privatisation contracts, most of them closed to scrutiny, lock urban infrastructure into 20th-century formats unsuited for a climate-threatened planet.
Politicised transport projects that flout proper process lead to hostility between residents and governments, and give planners a bad name.
Australia has lagged behind some other countries in its investment in smart cities, but in retrospect that may not have been such a bad thing.
Critical infrastructure is our means of survival as an urban species. So, we must identify what is critical, for whom and how it might fail us.