Revisiting Smartness in the Smart City

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter critically examines the intelligence of smart city government, which often ignores experiential and practical knowledge of citizens. The smart city movement’s tunnel-visioned pursuit of technology-driven intelligence distracts from smart citizenship: civic intelligence and knowledge that lives outside the scope of business-friendly tech entrepreneurs. The disenfranchised, although knowledgeable decision makers, are often ignored in the design process, because their values challenge or conflict with the status quo. Sensible actions of the non-valued are actively undermined as aberrant, rather than taken as informed input on how to improve the city for all. The term “smart city” assumes that data-driven innovation is needed because the citizenry is not already smart, while pushing forward with the premise that technical and surveillance-driven solutions are integral to solving “universal” problems that reflect corporate and governmental values. This precludes taking the knowledge claims and actions of citizens seriously.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Technology
EditorsShannon Vallor
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780190851187
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Smart city
  • Unintelligent city
  • Standpoint epistemology
  • Race
  • Women
  • Disability
  • Hostile infrastructure
  • Housing eugenics
  • Algorithmic violence


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