“In urban planning, there is a well-established notion of “wicked problems” — they aren’t unsolvable because of technical limits or a lack of data. They aren’t solvable because they are so big, and complex, and wracked with political conflicts that stakeholders can’t even agree what success looks like or how to measure it.” – Can Engineers Build Inclusive Smart Cities?
“While some models of smart urbanism embrace the tools of “e-government” — report-a-pothole apps, for example, or community planning software — they typically lack any means of accommodating user input that challenges the underlying principles and ideologies of the tools.” – Instrumental City: The View from New York’s Hudson Yards, circa 2019
“In a recent article, Neil Brenner and Christian Schmid identified three “urban age discourses” that shape our current episteme. Urban triumphalism, as championed by economists like Edward Glaeser, regards the city as an engine of innovation and civilization and prosperity. Sustainable urbanism imagines cities as hotbeds of resilience and environmental consciousness. Finally, technoscientific urbanism reflects a neopositivist return to postwar systems thinking and centralized planning; it is especially visible in the discourse around “smart cities,” which regards the intelligence generated from spatial sensing and data analysis as a “fix” for perennial urban problems.” – Instrumental City: The View from New York’s Hudson Yards, circa 2019
“Koolhaas starts out swinging. “I had a sinking feeling as I was listening to the talks by these prominent figures in the field of smart cities because the city used to be the domain of the architect, and now, frankly, they have made it their domain,” he begins, setting up his tweetable one-two punch. “This transfer of authority has been achieved in a clever way by calling their city smart — and by calling it smart, our city is condemned to being stupid.”” – Mimi Zeiger asks why architects are silent on Ferguson
“Awash with data, the smart city will liberate its citizens from the illegibilities and frustrations of the dumb city. Taxis will come to us, taxes will fall as services become more cost-effective, traffic jams can be bypassed, restaurants will always have tables, and the anonymous mass around us will become an exciting playground of consequence-free sexual encounters.” – The chaos and tangled energy of living cities – Will Wiles – Aeon