Critical Perspectives on the Smart City: Efficiency Objectives vs Inclusion Ideals

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Journal Article

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Published In:

Journal of Urban Technology




Arul Chib
Katrina Alvarez
Tatjana Todorovic

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Smart city rhetoric stresses both citizens’ well-being and urban efficiency; however, critical perspectives suggest a worsening of existing societal inequalities for less-productive citizens, posing implications for how urban planners should incorporate smart technology. We examine the perceptions of elderly residents regarding Singapore’s Smart Nation implementation in their communities. The elderly find that technological advancements deepen existing divides and suggest that true participation and social relationships are required for successful adoption of urban smart systems. We provide commentary on the tensions created between (1) productivity and efficiency as goals of the smart nation and (2) the inclusion and participation of older citizens in urban planning decisions.