Digitally engaged? Reflections and recommendations for engaging citizens in smart cities

Bull, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4372-3589, Dooley, K., Mazhar, M. ORCID: 0000-0003-2749-6408 and Preston, S., 2020. Digitally engaged? Reflections and recommendations for engaging citizens in smart cities. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 588 (2): 022002. ISSN 1755-1307

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A significant cultural shift occurred over recent decades, with the majority of the world’s population now living in cities and contributing over two thirds of global carbon emissions. If countries around the world are to meet challenging global carbon reduction targets, then how our cities are governed and managed to maximize energy efficiency is of vital importance. Faith is increasingly being placed in what are commonly referred to as ‘smart cities.’ Smart cities seemingly offer a utopian vision of urban integration, efficiency and [subsequent] carbon reductions, yet urbanisation presents real challenges, as noted by Sustainable Development Goal 11: “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. Cities are made up of people and increasingly both policymakers and practitioners are starting to see citizens as an essential stakeholder, even if there is a blurring over the boundaries between citizens and consumers. It is unclear what these people actually refer to when they talk about citizen engagement. Adopting key theoretical underpinning of ladder of participation (Arnstein), this research will present findings from case studies of novel citizen engagement from around the world, notably Nottingham (UK), Espoo (Finland) and Portland (USA). Utilising semi-structured interview material findings are analysed through critical framework of citizen engagement to see whether they fulfil the notion of smart cities and communities. Specifically, new forms of engagement that do not fit previously held assumptions around participation need to be considered. Recommendations are provided for increasing new forms of citizen engagement in smart city strategies in order to ensure they are fully adopted and embedded.

Item Type: Journal article
Description: Paper presented at WSBE 20 - World Sustainable Built Environment - Beyond2020, 2-4 November 2020, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Publication Title: IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Creators: Bull, R., Dooley, K., Mazhar, M. and Preston, S.
Publisher: IOP Publishing
Date: 20 November 2020
Volume: 588
Number: 2
ISSN: 1755-1307
Rights: Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 15 Mar 2021 15:46
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2022 13:17

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