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RETHINKING THE SMART CITY
Democratizing Urban Technology
Evgeny Morozov and Francesca Bria - January 2018

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Other publications in "Political Analysis and Alternatives"

THE US-CHINA TRADE WAR
Tobita Chow and Jake Werner
January 2020

CLIMATE JUSTICE FROM BELOW
Just Transition Research Collaborative (JTRC)
December 2019

THE BATTLE FOR ANOTHER WORLD
John Feffer
December 2019

By Evgeny Morozov and Francesca Bria. Following the celebration of the “creative city” (as described by Richard Florida), the “smart city” has become the new flavor of the month—and a brand. It makes clever use of resources, and it attracts money, corporate power, and private industries. Offering us cheap, effective solutions to social and political problems, the smart city is functional, optimized, and safe rather than participatory, sustainable, and fair.

As Evgeny Morozov and Francesca Bria point out, however, the problem is not merely the regulatory impulse of smart technologies. Coming from a political-economic rather than a purely technical perspective, the authors argue that the smart city can only be understood within the context of neoliberalism. In order to remain competitive in the era of austerity politics, cities hand over the management of public infrastructure and services to private companies, both de-centralizing and de-personalizing the political sphere.

How can cities regain control not only over technology, data, and infrastructure, but also over the services that are mediated by smart technologies—such as utilities, transportation, education, and health? Offering a wealth of examples and case studies from across the globe, the authors discuss alternative smart city models, which rely on democratic data ownership regimes, grassroots innovation, and cooperative service provision models.

Evgeny Morozov is a prominent critic of digital capitalism, dealing with questions of how major technology companies are transforming society and democracy. The author of several books, he also writes for various newspapers, including The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. With a background in social science and innovation economics, Francesca Bria is an expert in digital strategy, technology, and information policy, who is active in various innovation movements advocating for open access, open technologies, and digital rights. She is currently Chief Technology and Digital Innovation Officer at the Barcelona City Council.

Laying out what works and what doesn’t in the smart city of today, the authors do not simply advocate for a high-tech version of socialism in the fifth publication of our “City Series.” By carefully assessing what is at stake and for whom, this timely study offers practical solutions for how cities can be smart while retaining their technological sovereignty.

DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT  (English)
DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT  (German)


Other publications in "Political Analysis and Alternatives"

THE US-CHINA TRADE WAR
Tobita Chow and Jake Werner
January 2020

CLIMATE JUSTICE FROM BELOW
Just Transition Research Collaborative (JTRC)
December 2019

THE BATTLE FOR ANOTHER WORLD
John Feffer
December 2019

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THE US-CHINA TRADE WAR

As the US-China Trade War has accelerated, the left has lacked consensus on how to analyze and perceive this critical issue. In this timely publication, Tobita Chow and Jake Werner provide essential context and background for the trade war, showcase the effects of trade war in both countries, and offer a progressive internationalist alternative for the left to promote a solidaristic answer to the...
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NEWS / EVENTS

Flickr s_volenszki (CC BY-NC 2.0)

THE US-CHINA TRADE WAR

As the US-China Trade War has accelerated, the left has lacked consensus on how to analyze and perceive this critical issue. In this timely publication, Tobita Chow and Jake Werner provide essential context and background for the trade war, showcase the effects of trade war in both countries, and offer a progressive internationalist alternative for the left to promote a solidaristic answer to the rising tensions in the US,......
READ MORE

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FOLLOW US
Socialism in Social Networks

FOLLOW US
Socialism in Social Networks

GLOBAL POWER AND RESISTANCE THE FUTURE OF LABOR SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND EMANCIPATION POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND ALTERNATIVES