Contestations in urban mobility: rights, risks & responsibilities for Urban AI

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Cities today are dynamic urban ecosystems with evolving physical, socio-cultural, and technological infrastructures. Many contestations arise from the effects of inequitable access and intersecting crises currently faced by cities, which may be amplified by the algorithmic and data-centric infrastructures being introduced in urban contexts. In this paper, I argue for a critical lens into how inter-related urban technologies, big data and policies, constituted as Urban AI, offer both challenges and opportunities. I examine scenarios of contestations in urban mobility, defined broadly to include equitable access, movement, and liberty to engage with the socio-cultural, political, and urban fabric of cities. I anchor my arguments through a framework of rights, risks, and responsibilities for critically examining and configuring the roles, values and ethical implications for all stakeholders including human, AI and non-human entities within an urban ecosystem. As a way forward, I examine the European Commission’s proposed regulations on AI systems through an illustrative case study of an automated parking control system introduced by the City of Amsterdam. In moving beyond the city to broader urban ecosystems, I highlight the role of engaging Indigenous perspectives for designing and reconciling the implications of equitable and sustainable Urban AI ecosystems in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalAI and Society
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Urban AI, Artificial intelligence, Urban, Ethics, Rights, Risks, Regulations, Smart cities, Mobility


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