Smart Cities: Reviewing the Debate about their Ethical Implications

39 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2022 Last revised: 8 Aug 2022

See all articles by Marta Ziosi

Marta Ziosi

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Benjamin Hewitt

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Prathm Juneja

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Mariarosaria Taddeo

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Luciano Floridi

Yale University - Digital Ethics Center; University of Bologna- Department of Legal Studies

Date Written: January 5, 2022

Abstract

This paper considers a host of definitions and labels attached to the concept of smart cities to identify four dimensions that ground a review 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 element for the future. Given the persisting disagreements around the definition of a smart city, the article identifies in these four dimensions a more stable reference framework within which ethical concerns can be clustered and discussed. Identifying these dimensions makes possible a review of the ethical implications of smart cities that is transversal to their different types and resilient towards the unsettled debate over their definition.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Data Privacy, Ethics, Smart Cities, Surveillance

Suggested Citation

Ziosi, Marta and Hewitt, Benjamin and Juneja, Prathm and Taddeo, Mariarosaria and Floridi, Luciano, Smart Cities: Reviewing the Debate about their Ethical Implications (January 5, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4001761 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4001761

Marta Ziosi (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Benjamin Hewitt

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Prathm Juneja

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Mariarosaria Taddeo

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Luciano Floridi

Yale University - Digital Ethics Center ( email )

85 Trumbull Street
New Haven, CT CT 06511
United States
2034326473 (Phone)

University of Bologna- Department of Legal Studies ( email )

Via Zamboni 22
Bologna, Bo 40100
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/luciano.floridi/en

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