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date: 08 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the concept of “smart cities,” a term which describes the growing role of data analytics and sensors in urban life. Smart city initiatives rely on pervasive data gathering and integration, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence to manage mobility, energy, housing, public realm access, and myriad public and private services. These data flows can change how physical infrastructure like streets and parks are configured and services provisioned. They can tailor opportunities for housing or education based on individual digital identities and predictive algorithms. As more life in the city runs through digital apps and platforms, rights to access and control data increase in importance. Data flows from residents and public spaces to smart city corporations raise pressing policy questions about what power the public should cede to private developers to shape urban space, subject to how much oversight and with what expectation of return on public assets. The chapter then sorts these concerns into three major groups: privatization, platformization, and domination.

Keywords: smart cities, data gathering, data integration, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, digital identities, predictive algorithms, data access, data control, data flows

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