Smart Cities - How Cities Can Contribute to Social Stability and Security


The following report is written by Paul Budde.

Interestingly, during the process of establishing the Smart City Industry Collaborative one of the blue chip companies I contacted indicated that they were not a big fan of smart cities as their company was not really in the business of ‘making people happy’. They were selling ICTs to ‘make cities smarter’.

This conversation took place a few months ago, but it has made me think more about happiness. The term can be rather fuzzy, so here is my interpretation of ‘happiness’ in this context …..

I see it to mean well-being – a state of affairs where people live in an atmosphere of inclusion, security and stability, with a fairly optimistic view of the future; where they feel their primary needs are being taken care of by a responsible governing body; and, importantly, where they have some influence and control over their own lives. Based on the various global developments over the last few decades it has become clear that people’s well-being should be a key issue in policy-making, both globally and locally.

In the context of the field of our expertise I believe that smart technologies can assist in this.

Subsequently I explored the topic further during some of the in-depth discussions I have had with policy-makers, industry leaders – and with some of you, being the citizens in all this turmoil. I will elaborate on this in this blog.

After an overall assessment of community issues around stability and security, I bring the article back to smart cities, in order to see where this development fits into these broader social and economic developments.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Inclusion weakens polarisation and populism
  • 3. So what do cities and smart cities have to do with all of this?
  • 4. So what is a smart city in this context?
  • 5. Rural areas and inner and outer suburbs
  • 6. Smart cities empower their citizens
  • 7. Conclusions
  • 8. Related reports

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Number of pages 12

Status Archived

Last updated 24 May 2017
Update History

Analyst: Phil Harpur

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