Lecture: Big Data and Smart Cities: Is Technology Challenging or Empowering Citizenship?
27th March 2017, The Building Centre, London, England
DATE: 27/3/3017
"How is the use of technology both changing and challenging how we relate to our environment? How can smart cities empower citizens without undermining their rights to privacy and private ownership? Who is the smart city for? This talk in our Architecture and Citizenship programming will discuss the role of big data in the built environment industry with the aim of understanding how architects and designers can participate in the way data is aggregated, interpreted and used to inform decision-making in urban centres today.

The use of digital technologies and data in cities is usually praised for the way it can help monitor environmental performance, study and design cities as they evolve, and connect people and professionals to construct more open, cross-disciplinary forms of urbanism. Nevertheless, smart cities are increasingly criticised for the way they use technology to impose top-down control, raising fears that they might foster urban exclusion rather than civic participation. Equally, smart cities raise questions about the growing role of private businesses and corporate entities that are increasingly taking over the functions of local governments. This talk will aim to understand what are the challenges of smart cities and discuss how architects and designers can ensure that digital technologies are used to shape real citizen engagement in urban development."

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