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    Smart urbanism and smart citizenship: The neoliberal logic of ‘citizen-focused’ smart cities in Europe


    Cardullo, Paolo and Kitchin, Rob (2019) Smart urbanism and smart citizenship: The neoliberal logic of ‘citizen-focused’ smart cities in Europe. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 37 (5). pp. 813-830. ISSN 2399-6552

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    Abstract

    This paper examines the neoliberal ideals that underpin participation and citizenship in the smart city and their replication mechanisms at the European level, particularly focusing on the work of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities. The research consisted of three levels of data generation and analysis: a discourse analysis of policy documents and project descriptions of the 61 Commitments in the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities ‘citizen-focus’ cluster; interviews with a dozen stakeholders working on citizen engagement in a small sample of European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities flagship projects; and twenty interviews with city officers and corporate exhibitors at the 2017 Smart City Expo and World Congress. We contend that smart cities as currently conceived enact a blueprint of neoliberal urbanism and promote a form of neoliberal citizenship. Supra-national institutions like the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities act at a multi-scalar level, connecting diverse forms of neoliberal urbanism whilst promoting policy agendas and projects that perform neoliberal citizenship in the spaces of the everyday. Despite attempts to recast the smart city as ‘citizen-focused’, smart urbanism remains rooted in pragmatic, instrumental and paternalistic discourses and practices rather than those of social rights, political citizenship, and the common good. In our view, if smart cities are to become truly ‘citizen-focused’, an alternative conception of smart citizenship needs to be deployed, one that enables an effective shift of power and is rooted in the right to the city, entitlements, community, participation, commons, and ideals beyond the market.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Cardullo P, Kitchin R. Smart urbanism and smart citizenship: The neoliberal logic of ‘citizen-focused’ smart cities in Europe. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. 2019;37(5):813-830. doi:10.1177/0263774X18806508
    Keywords: Citizenship; smart cities; smart citizens; neoliberalism; European Union;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, MUSSI
    Item ID: 14632
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/0263774X18806508
    Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
    Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2021 17:15
    Journal or Publication Title: Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space
    Publisher: Sage Publications
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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