Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

What smartness does in the smart city: From visions to policy

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

DOI

This article examines what smartness does on the ground by examining how its anticipatory media visions have been interpreted and acted on in policy decisions and local implementations since the early 2000s. Using a comparative-historical analysis that draws on fieldwork in aspiring smart cities in the United States and Europe, we argue that the visions of smartness are neither singular nor fixed across time and space. Instead, the role of smartness in diffusing new technologies is recruited and reshaped in the present to lend legitimacy to future public and private interventions. We first demonstrate that the narrative of crisis, often associated with smartness, shifted from a pre-2008 emphasis on sustainability and climate change to a post-financial crisis engagement with entrepreneurship and platformization. We then discuss how the development of smart city initiatives has followed divergent paths in the United States and Europe, with big tech companies dominating in the former and the ‘living lab’ model prevailing in the latter. Our analysis highlights the importance of investigating the complex relationships between anticipatory media visions of smartness and their varying, down-to-earth implementations in the built environment rather than solely focusing on the discursive appeal of techno-idealism. It also explains the enduring appeal of smartness as an urban vision, despite its various shortcomings, by revealing its adaptability to the changing social and political–economic shifts.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftConvergence
Vol/bind26
Nummer4
Sider (fra-til)775-789
Antal sider15
ISSN1354-8565
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2020

Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet Citationsformater

ID: 185890471