Accepted Paper:

A taxonomy of Smart City participation  

Authors:

Merel Noorman (Maastricht University)
Dorien Zandbergen (University of Amsterdam)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper we will develop a taxonomy of different forms of participation in Smart City creation, based on overview of relevant literature and comparative ethnographic research conducted in three different Smart City settings of innovation.

Paper long abstract:

In recent years policymakers, companies, government institutions, and citizen organizations across the world have argued that Smart Cities can only fully harness their potential when they are participatory, i.e. when its data infrastructures are sustained by the voluntary active cooperation of citizens. However, the concept of the Smart City is at best a "flexibly interpreted cluster of guiding visions" about future urban life (Borup et. al. 2006) that offers few clues as to how to best organise such participation. The term has been used to refer to socio-technical arrangements as different as smart lampposts, online citizen platforms, health-at-a-distance, smart grids and citizen sensor networks, and has been used in reference to innovation settings ranging from the hierarchical and secretive to the playful and public. Moreover, 'participation' appears in different forms in Smart City discourse, for instance as engagement on online platforms for democratic decision-making; as citizens' control over their personal data; or as citizens using data to save costs and/or to live more comfortably. In this paper we argue that without a detailed 'taxonomy' (Kelty et.al 2015; Fish et.al. 2011) of different Smart City initiatives and of the different ways in which these frame and foster practices of 'participation', it is difficult to say anything meaningful about the ways in which Smart Cities are, or should be, participatory. We propose such a taxonomy based on an overview of relevant literature and comparative ethnographic research conducted in three different settings of Smart City innovation.

Panel T010
Stakeholder engagement in smart city (re-)development