Smart Cities: Mapping their Ethical Implications
35 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2022 Last revised: 11 Apr 2022
Date Written: January 5, 2022
This paper provides an overview of the various definitions and labels attached to the concept of smart cities in order to identify four dimensions that ground the analysis of ethical concerns emerging from the current debate. These are: (1) network infrastructure, with the corresponding concerns of control, surveillance, and data privacy and ownership; (2) post-political governance, embodied in the tensions between public and private decision-making and cities as post-political entities; (3) social inclusion, expressed in the aspects of citizen participation and inclusion, and inequality and discrimination; and (4) sustainability, with a specific focus on the environment as an element to protect but also as a strategic component for the future. Notwithstanding the persisting disagreements around the definition of a smart city, the article uses these four dimensions to analyse both the different types and conceptions of smart cities and the multiple aspects in which smart cities reinforce old and introduce new ethical problems.
Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Data Privacy, Ethics, Smart Cities, Surveillance
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