Digitally Engaged? Reflections and recommendations for engaging citizens in smart cities

R. Bull*, K. Dooley, M. Mazhar, S. Preston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

A significant cultural shift occurred over recent decades, with the majority of the world's population now living in cities and contributing over two thirds of global carbon emissions. If countries around the world are to meet challenging global carbon reduction targets, then how our cities are governed and managed to maximize energy efficiency is of vital importance. Faith is increasingly being placed in what are commonly referred to as 'smart cities.' Smart cities seemingly offer a utopian vision of urban integration, efficiency and [subsequent] carbon reductions, yet urbanisation presents real challenges, as noted by Sustainable Development Goal 11: "Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable". Cities are made up of people and increasingly both policymakers and practitioners are starting to see citizens as an essential stakeholder, even if there is a blurring over the boundaries between citizens and consumers. It is unclear what these people actually refer to when they talk about citizen engagement. Adopting key theoretical underpinning of ladder of participation (Arnstein), this research will present findings from case studies of novel citizen engagement from around the world, notably Nottingham (UK), Espoo (Finland) and Portland (USA). Utilising semi-structured interview material findings are analysed through critical framework of citizen engagement to see whether they fulfil the notion of smart cities and communities. Specifically, new forms of engagement that do not fit previously held assumptions around participation need to be considered. Recommendations are provided for increasing new forms of citizen engagement in smart city strategies in order to ensure they are fully adopted and embedded.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Subtitle of host publicationBEYOND 2020 – World Sustainable Built Environment conference
Chapter1.01 – 1.05
Number of pages8
Volume588
Edition2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventElectrochemical Society Meeting - Chicago, United States
Duration: 30 May 20213 Jun 2021
Conference number: 239

Publication series

Name
PublisherInstitute of Physics Publishing
Volume588
ISSN (Print)1755-1307
ISSN (Electronic)1755-1315

Conference

ConferenceElectrochemical Society Meeting
Abbreviated titleECS
CountryUnited States
CityChicago
Period30/05/202103/06/2021

Keywords

  • Smart city
  • Citizen engagement

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