Understanding the Smart City: Framing the Challenges for Law and Good Governance

E Slautsky (Ed.), The Conclusions of the Chaire Mutations de l'Action Publique et du Droit Public, Sciences Po, juin 2018

13 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2019

See all articles by Jennifer Cobbe

Jennifer Cobbe

University of Cambridge - Computer Laboratory

John Morison

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law

Date Written: June 31, 2018

Abstract

This paper takes as its starting point the concept of “problematization"; the process by which certain kinds of conduct come to be seen as inadequate, and in need of governmental intervention. It is argued that the widespread adoption of “smart city” solutions relies upon the problematization of existing cities as being ‘insufficient’ in four key areas. These problematizations are unpinned by an overarching idea that traditional cities are failing to capture and put to work the data flows that surge through contemporary urban life. The rest of the paper explores how the smart city approach responds to this set of perceived problems by developing various strategies of “datafication”, “dataveillance” and “algorithmic regulation” as part of a new form of governmentality. However, these proposed ‘solutions’ to the problems of existing cities themselves raise a number of challenges for lawyers and others seeking to maintain values of democracy, equality and good governance in the light of a disruptive technology that, in the name of efficiency, modernity and smartness, challenges many aspects of social organization in ways that may not yet be fully recognized by all the categories of law that seek to regulate these areas.

Keywords: smart cities, datafication, algorithmic regulation, surveillance capitalism, problematization

Suggested Citation

Cobbe, Jennifer and Morison, John, Understanding the Smart City: Framing the Challenges for Law and Good Governance (June 31, 2018). E Slautsky (Ed.), The Conclusions of the Chaire Mutations de l'Action Publique et du Droit Public, Sciences Po, juin 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3326489

Jennifer Cobbe (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Computer Laboratory ( email )

15 JJ Thomson Avenue
William Gates Building
Cambridge, CB3 0FD
United Kingdom

John Morison

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law ( email )

School of Law
Belfast BT7 1NN, BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland

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