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Foucault and the smart city

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>6/09/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>The Design Journal
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Volume20
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)S4378-S4386
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper critically analyses the concept of the ‘smart city’, focusing on uncovering the formation of a Foucauldian smart city ‘discourse’. Smart city developments and policies might be seen to support new ways of imagining, organising and managing the city and its flows. Alternatively, it might be argued that they seek to impress a new moral order on cities by introducing specific technical parameters to distinguish between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ city. The ‘smart city' discourse reflects knowledge/power and may be characterised as a powerful tool for the production of techno-centric rhetoric and narrative where urban and societal problems are rendered docile and amenable subjects to technology solutions. The paper is based on a series of ethnographic interviews with smart city experts and uses a Foucauldian analytical approach to offer a powerful and critical alternative perspective to enrich smart cities future thinking.