The Smart City Agenda: The Adoption Gap

Professor Rob Kitchin is ERC Advanced Investigator at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. He is principal investigator of the Programmable City project and co-PI of the Building City Dashboards project. He has published widely across the social sciences, including 26 authored/edited books and over 180 articles and book chapters. He was the editor-in-chief of the 12 volume, International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, and is presently editor of the journal, Dialogues in Human Geography. He was the 2013 recipient of the Royal Irish Academy's Gold Medal for the Social Sciences.

The smart city agenda is over a decade in the making, yet many cities are struggling to corral ICT-led initiatives into a smart city vision, to adapt existing city services to new technologies, and to drive forward a smart city strategy. Drawing upon a five year program of research conducted in Dublin and Boston, this lecture examines the adoption gap and points of resistance with respect to the rollout of smart city technologies. It argues that (1) smart city policy and deployment is hampered by a number of significant structural, institutional, political, ethical, practical and visioning issues that are fairly intractable and are set to slow on-going adoption; (2) these issues require critical reflection and redress through a reframing, reimagining and remaking of smart cities by its epistemic community and advocacy coalition.

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