Being a ‘citizen’ in the smart city: Up and down the scaffold of smart citizen participation: The Programmable City Working Paper 30


Cardullo, Paolo and Kitchin, Rob (2017) Being a ‘citizen’ in the smart city: Up and down the scaffold of smart citizen participation: The Programmable City Working Paper 30. Working Paper. Programmable City Working Paper.

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Official URL: https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/v24jn


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Abstract

This paper critically appraises citizens’ participation in the smart city. Reacting to critiques that the smart city is overly technocratic and instrumental, companies and cities have reframed their initiatives as ‘citizen-centric’. However, what ‘citizen-centric’ means in practice is rarely articulated. We draw on and extend Sherry Arnstein’s seminal work on participation in planning and renewal programmes to create the ‘Scaffold of Smart Citizen Participation’ – a conceptual tool to unpack the diverse ways in which the smart city frames citizens. We then use this scaffold to measure smart citizen inclusion, participation, and empowerment in smart city initiatives in Dublin, Ireland. Our analysis illustrates how most ‘citizen-centric’ smart city initiatives are rooted in stewardship, civic paternalism, and a neoliberal conception of citizenship that prioritizes consumption choice and individual autonomy within a framework of state and corporate defined constraints that prioritize market-led solutions to urban issues, rather than being grounded in civil, social and political rights and the common good. We conclude that significant normative work is required to rethink ‘smart citizens’ and ‘smart citizenship’ and to remake smart cities if they are to truly become ‘citizen-centric’.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: Published as an open access pre-print on SocArXiv: https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/v24jn under a CC0 1.0 Universal License. The research for this paper was provided by a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award, ‘The Programmable City’ (ERC-2012-AdG-323636). Many thanks to Sung-Yueh Perng, Claudio Coletta, Cesare di Feliciantonio, and the attendees of the ‘Is Another Smart City Possible?’ sessions at the Association of American Geographers meeting in Boston, April 2017, for useful reflections and comments
Keywords: smart city; citizens; participation; engagement; citizenship; rights;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > National Institute for Regional and Spatial analysis, NIRSA
Item ID: 9228
Identification Number: 10.17605/OSF.IO/V24JN
Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2018 17:01
Publisher: Programmable City Working Paper
Funders: European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award
URI:

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