Smart City: Dream or Nightmare?

A city skyline at night against a backdrop of a computer circuitry board. Smart cities are talked about as a good thing, but can we be sure where they are leading us? This promised land with sustainability, connectivity and optimisation, might have a human rights cost. An interesting point from Amnesty International. 

On the one hand we have a model for inclusive urban growth with jobs and green credentials. On the other, community groups say this as a contest between surveillance capitalism and democracy. This is the point of an article by two tech people at Amnesty International.

The authors discuss the growth of smart cities and the Internet of Things.  The connectivity of devices and people and the wonders of inventions seems like Utopia. But a lot of data is being collected and this is where the threat to human rights emerges. They argue that human rights must be put at the centre of development plans for smart cities. Otherwise the Big Tech companies will be empowered even more.

It’s good to see these issues being raised. People who are marginalised could be even further disadvantaged. The title of the article is Smart Cities: dreams capable of become nightmares. There are links to further articles on the topic.