Humans are smart, technology can be efficient, in case.
We start 2015 with an article by Adam Greenfield. We had the pleasure to hear his provoking thoughts at the Media Architecture Biennale last November, and here he is with a punching paper published by The Guardian on – again – how Smart Cities should focus on brave citizens instead of expensive technologies.
Well, if we look at it, it’s exactly what they already do. From the Colombia renaissance, to the winners of the 2014 World Cities Day Challenge, to the Hong Kong movement…transformation starts from people and not from sensors.
Greenfield gives loads of examples: the Occupy Sandy movement, the Madrid collective re-appropriation of El Campo de Cebada, the contradiction of the India Smart City project…each of us can find more examples, but the concept is always the same:
the top-down, expensive, tech-centered approach produces unlivable corporate dystopias in which people are just another “thing” to be shuffled around
It takes a bit of time to resist to this apparently unstoppable path. Time in terms of seconds, that second we should stop and read before allowing our new iPhone to store our finger print AND our credit card data AND our location AND our pics on their servers.
Good proposition for 2015: let’s take those seconds back.
Cover pic: Santiago Cirugeda’s public intervention “Bottom Up”