‘Techlash’ at Sidewalk Labs could mean smart city rethink

Alex Ryan, head of the MaRS Solutions Lab and a consultant on the Quayside project in Toronto, said less reliance on tech and more community engagement could be the new way forward.

“I would suggest a shift from driving from a data perspective to more driving from a democratic engagement and legitimacy perspective,” Ryan said. “How do you engage citizens more as co-designers of the spaces that they live, work and play in?”

Sensative take: Smart Cities are also for the citizens, not only government and commercial interests. A top-down approach will not work in democratic societies. Bottom-up is what works. Citizen engagement with clear value propositions for the individuals. What’s in it for the average Joe?

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