Klaus R. Kunzmann

Smart Cities: A New Paradigm of Urban Development

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The paper discusses the concept of Smart City as a still fuzzy one. Smart City is in the making by those who promote it as a chance to improve the quality of life, or use it to demonstrate their commitment to a better life in modern cities, and to sell their products and services. As a slogan, it has become the new paradigm for those who wish to use or sell new information and communication technologies for better, more liveable cities. There is, however, also a slightly darker side of the Smart City concept, that is not much the access to this technology, but rather the extreme dependency on technology, and on corporations dominating technology and related services. Provided with many examples from Europe and China, the paper highlights directions and inner contradictions in the making of such a new paradigm on the urban scene.

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