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Smart for a Reason

Social Inclusion in the Sharing City

Every city wants to be smart. But the opportunities of smart technology are accompanied by dangers and shortcomings. Technological solutions are rarely equally accessible to all urban residents, often prioritize the interests of wealthy elites and tend to treat citizens as autonomous individual consumers rather than caring members of communities. Drawing on examples from cities around the world - especially in Latin America - Duncan McLaren will suggest ways in which truly smart cities can adopt ideals of sharing alongside smart technologies to empower residents, give voice to the unheard and promote inter-cultural social cohesion. Such cities act to support civic, communal and charitable sharing, and are prepared to intervene, regulate and redirect the “sharing economy” vision of Silicon Valley venture capitalists and technologists. Rather than harnessing the collaborative nature of humankind to economic ends, such cities harness smart technology and support sharing intermediaries to empower cosmopolitan sharing and real humanity.

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