The "smart city" sounds like a digital utopia, a place where data eliminates first-world hassles, dangers and injustices. But there are some problems with smart cities, and no one, to my knowledge at least, has pointed them out.
Press coverage from Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and dozens of other publications are gleefully optimistic about smart cities. No more traffic! Renewable energy for all! Fewer fires and disease outbreaks! Billions in savings! Automated vegetable gardens on roofs!
These are all real possibilities. Before we get too excited, however, let’s examine the ingredients of a smart city and what they indicate about those problems.