Critical Perspectives on the Smart City: Efficiency Objectives vs Inclusion Ideals

Arul Chib*, Katrina Alvarez, Tatjana Todorovic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Smart city rhetoric stresses both citizens’ well-being and urban efficiency; however, critical perspectives suggest a worsening of existing societal inequalities for less-productive citizens, posing implications for how urban planners should incorporate smart technology. We examine the perceptions of elderly residents regarding Singapore’s Smart Nation implementation in their communities. The elderly find that technological advancements deepen existing divides and suggest that true participation and social relationships are required for successful adoption of urban smart systems. We provide commentary on the tensions created between (1) productivity and efficiency as goals of the smart nation and (2) the inclusion and participation of older citizens in urban planning decisions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Urban Technology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Society of Urban Technology.


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