Articles on Smart cities

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Technology and artificial intelligence are already profoundly changing how we live, work and travel. Are we ready for more profound changes? (Shutterstock)

Are we ready for the digital tsunami?

Technology is already changing how we live our lives and go about our days. Are we ready with collaborative planning processes so we are not taken by surprise by more profound change?
Toronto could learn a lot from Brazil following the flawed and opaque consultation process to develop parts of the city’s waterfront. (Shutterstock)

Quayside Toronto project proves that smart city talks must be transparent

Toronto’s Quayside smart city project needs a new, truly consultative process. An innovative method used by Brazil to develop its landmark Internet Bill of Rights may be the answer.
Tel Aviv has a reputation as a “non-stop city” but is also known for its local government’s use of smart technology to listen to and respond to residents’ needs and concerns. Alexandra Lande/Shutterstock

How does a city get to be ‘smart’? This is how Tel Aviv did it

To be a smart city is to know what your people want and need. And smart city leaders make sure residents can tell them by using technology to maintain a constant two-way flow of information.
Overflowing bins are one way to spoil the amenity of public space, but sensors can now alert councils when bins need emptying. Wikimedia

Sensors in public spaces can help create cities that are both smart and sociable

Researchers are installing sensors to collect data about the use of public spaces. This can improve the management and public amenity of these places, but will users see the technology as intrusive?
Jakarta’s traffic system is one of many facets of the city that could be improved by smart cities technologies, but at what cost? Vasenka Photography/Flickr

Three scenarios show we have to think carefully about ethics in designing smart cities

Governments are using Big Data to design improvements and upgrades of cities. But ethical questions need to be considered, lest we end up jeopardising citizens' privacy or deepen social inequalities.
Federal and state government representatives descended on Geelong when a memorandum of understanding for the latest City Deal was signed on January 17. Ellen Smith/AAP

Cities policy goes regional

With the emerging emphasis on regional City Deals and Smart Cities funding, perhaps Australia is beginning to find its way to a national cities policy, rather than just a big cities policy.
Helsinki s City Wall, a collaborative social space.

Productive cities: toward a new biopolitics of cities

With the rise of the knowledge-based economy, fab labs, maker spaces and more, cities are being transformed into production centres. This dynamic movement is ripe with promise, but also has risks.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff launch Sidewalk Toronto, a high-tech urban development project. Mark Blinch/Reuters

Can a tech company build a city? Ask Google

Toronto has entered a joint venture with a Google sister company to create a high-tech urban development area. The goal is to 're-imagine cities from the internet up' – Google's internet, of course.
Play activates cities and engages people, and by appropriating urban spaces it changes what these mean to people.

Bringing back an old idea for smart cities – playing on the street

As adults we often trivialise the value of play. But playing games lets us play with possibilities, see how they play out – and exploring alternative realities helps us see the familiar in new ways.

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