The right to the (smart) city, participation and open data

Jonas Breuer*, Nils Walravens, Shenja van der Graaf, Ilse Marien

*Corresponding author for this work

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

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The ‘smart city’ has become the contemporary urban concept in various
discourses within urbanism, making the application of associated ICT within
future urbanisation seemingly inevitable. So far, it has been largely interpreted
from a narrow, top-down, techno-centric and commercially driven vision of
‘what’ and ‘who’ the city is. Recently, a more human-centric vision of the smart
city has gained momentum, calling Lefebvre’s ‘Right to the City’ back to mind as
a systematic means to consider power relationships and to address the common
criticisms that revolve around the concept today. Taking Lefebvre as a starting
point, this article analyses what ‘smart city’ has come to mean. It calls for a
nuanced interpretation of the concept that balances needs and requirements of
citizens as ‘users’ of the city with economic interests and technological
developments. Based on the ‘Right to City’, it further argues that true multistakeholder
participation is challenging in practice and, by assessing an Open
Data case study as one possible way of fostering ‘Right to the City’, it provides
practical considerations to enable participation in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchitecture and the Smart City
EditorsSergio M. Figueiredo, Sukanya Krishnamurthy, Torsten Schröder
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9780429324468
ISBN (Print)9780367342074, 9780367342067
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • n/a OA procedure


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