EISSN 2532-3474 - ISSN 2532-649X - Padova University Press

Urban Landscapes and Dystopian Scenarios: Smart Cities for Whom? Tales of Inclusionary and Exclusionary Practices

TitleUrban Landscapes and Dystopian Scenarios: Smart Cities for Whom? Tales of Inclusionary and Exclusionary Practices
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsCosta dos Anjos, L., & Santos M C. Oliveira
Secondary TitlePeace Human Rights Governance
Date Published07/2019
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2532-3474
Keywordsinclusion, landscape, marginalization, privacy, smart city, technology

This paper aims to analyse the relationship between smart cities and both its inclusionary and exclusionary practices with regard to landscape transformation and citizen participation in the urbanization process. Although currently proposed models of smart cities allow for the individualization of technological intermediations, the landscape paradigm may very well serve as a tool against processes of spatial marginalization, thus valuing urban plurality. Smart cities usually reflect a deepening of social hierarchies in the midst of high technology and it seems closer to the cultural portrait of dystopian narratives centered on the loss of human control over nature, society and technology. While in fiction these tales relate scarcity, marginalization and insecurity aspects that stem from the allegorical optimization of human actions in favor of one group, the increasing incorporation of new technologies into the daily lives of cities nowadays shows these same elements presented in the form of innovations (Internet of Things, autonomous cars, face recognition, Amazon’s Alexa, etc.). Faced with the rising global phenomenon of cyberculture, we must question the arrival of the future in order to prevent life from imitating art, assuring that cities keep their hegemonic function consistent with the heterogeneity of its interests and groups. In this confluence of factors, law, governments, media and technologies can interact in a variety of subjective ways. From different perspectives, the landscapes of smart cities reveal more than a horizon of technological modernization: they represent and resignify actual social disputes in the urban environment. But to whom are they destined?