We all want cities, where more than half of the world’s population currently live, to be just, successful, clean, fair, green, sustainable, safe, healthy and affordable. Will ‘smart cities’ help achieve these aspirations or undermine them in the time of COVID-19?
Phil Allmendinger, a world expert on cities, development, and urban governance, takes a critical approach to the role of ‘smart’ in future cities and the relationship with city development. Considering how technology can support active citizenship, he challenges the commercial drivers of big tech and warns that these, not developments for ‘social good’, may dominate.
Focusing on the dangers posed by social media, the platform economy and AI, he sets out what those making decisions on city development need to understand in order to save the planet through active politics and healthy cities.
“A vital needed corrective to so much of the unthinking smart cityism out there promising the taming of wicked urban planning problems. Be distracted by this engaging book instead of your mobile phone or laptop.” Nicholas A. Phelps, The University of Melbourne
“Not only does this book make the important connection between resilience and digital technologies, but it does what very few have done: it places people at the centre of smart cities.” Nancy Odendaal, University of Cape Town
“This book reminds anyone practising or interested in the urban environment that hope is not a management tool. Hope in smart cities is dangerously misplaced. A vital and critical read.” Jeremy Smalley, Royal Borough of Greenwich
“Phil Allmendinger is arguably the leading planning theorist of his generation. When he now takes on some of the most burning questions in urban planning and development in a highly accessibly format, this promises to become a book that will be at the centre of international debates on possible responses to the threats and promises of ‘the smart city’.” Jonathan Metzger, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
“This highly readable, informative and timely book takes a scalpel to contemporary narratives of the smart city and Big Tech, urging planners to rethink their policies and practices.” Yvonne Rydin, University College London
“A timely intervention that calls for a progressive re-imagining of the relationship between technology and the city and argues for the potential for planning to help put technology in the service of cities and the communities that make them, rather than the other way around.” Edward Shepherd, University of Reading
“A solid foundation on which to build the next chapter of the love affair between the city and technology – the Smart City post COVID-19.” Irena Bauman, Bauman Lyons Architects
Phil Allmendinger is Professor of Land Economy and Fellow of Clare College at the University of Cambridge. From 2015 – 2020 he was Head of the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences and a Deputy Vice Chancellor.
Phil is a chartered planner and surveyor and advises governments around the world on future cities, urban issues and smart city development. He is the author of numerous books and papers on these issues.
A tale of two stories
The ‘smart city’ story
What happens when ‘smart’ comes to town
Unholy alliance: how government, academics and Big Tech are colluding in the takeover of our cities
Why we’re the problem (and the solution)
Our disconnected cities: what ‘smart’ should be about 1
Yesterday’s cities of the future
Why it’s different this time
Why bother to save the city?
Smart for cities: time for a new story