Public must help shape ‘smart cities’

Over the past three years the International Eco-City Initiative has been participating in the Smart-Eco project. The call, at the conclusion of this project, is that the public must play a key role in the ongoing “smart cities” revolution.

“At the moment there is very little involvement from citizens in the development of smart cities,” according to Dr Federico Caprotti, from the University of Exeter, which has been leading the Smart-Eco project.

“The movement towards smart cities is one of the fastest and most fundamental changes we are seeing at present, and that process will continue to happen rapidly.

“There are huge potential benefits in almost every aspect of the way towns and cities work, but we must also consider what all this data collection and surveillance means for citizenship.

“Much of this change is happening at a very local level, and if people don’t help shape the process we will end up with a top-down approach.”