Birdz

HOW ARE SMART CITIES REPRESENTED IN THE MEDIA ?

 

In recent years, “smart cities” have become a hot topic across the media. But the way this phrase is discussed and interpreted varies depending on the country, culture or city in question, resulting in a wide range of interpretations.

However, three main interpretations of the smart city can be identified: tech-centric (or data), design-centric and human-centric.

Each implies a different vision of the city of the future, and by extension, society :

> tech-centric: The peak of technological progress.

design-centric: Harmony between man, nature and machine

human-centric: The ideal democratic society.

The tech-centric vision emphasises a dystopian element (“My future city will not be an egalitarian place: it will focus on protecting the interests of the rich”), whereas the human-centric vision encourages us to imagine a utopia (“My future city will be a networked city-state, governed entirely by its inhabitants”). The design-centric vision seeks to achieve a balance between the other two, putting technology at the service of humans and the common good.

AND HOW ARE SMART CITIES VIEWED IN FRANCE ?

French people have a rather vague idea of what “smart cities” are, due to the variety of ways in which the media use the term.

Fifty percent of French people don’t know what the expression « smart city » means . (1)

On the other hand, local authorities and elected representatives demonstrate more detailed knowledge, and reveal specific interests.

50% of French local authorities are engaged in smart city projects. (2)

In both cases, whether one is talking about elected officials or the general public, the French vision of the smart city is generally utopian, human-centric, and socially/politically oriented.

35% of French people believe that when developing smart cities, the focus should be on the safety of people and their propert. (1)

For 60% of elected representatives, the primary objective of a smart city is to strengthen connections with citizens. (2)

1- MaddyTalk : The city of tomorrow, a quiet revolution
2- Cityramag : 50% of French local authorities are engaged in smart city projects

THE IDEAL FUTURE OF A CITY IS SHAPED BY ITS SOCIAL ISSUES, AND THE LIFE THAT IT PROMISES ITS INHABITANTS

A “smart” city is perceived as one that, having efficiently identified its requirements and challenges, implements modern resources to respond to them as efficiently as possible.

To offer a city a unifying vision of its future, it is therefore important to take its present visions and realities into consideration.

These are unique to each city.

A city can only have a future if its inhabitants are committed to its social development and provide it with data to fuel its intelligence.

In other words, smart cities can only exist if they are filled with smart inhabitants who are committed to making them smart on a daily basis.

SMARTCITIZEN

Noun

Smart citizens are the inhabitants of the cities of the future.

They are connected to their cities and provide them with data. They are also citizens in the sense that they are involved in the participatory governance of their cities.

HOW DOES BIRDZ SEE SMART CITIES ?

BIRDZ has its own vision of smart cities.

For BIRDZ, the focus of a smart city is not law and order or “Big Brother”-style surveillance (measurements are not made at the level of individuals), nor is it overly concerned with aesthetics or glitz.

Instead, we believe a Smart City is:

Sensitive and Responsive

Makes measurements at multiple levels and constantly adapts by taking a comprehensive view of the situation

Socially Aware

Supports elected officials and involves citizens in the transformation of their city (“smart citizens”)

Voluntary & Responsible

Gives the stakeholders involved in the transformation the power to act

Useful & Humble

Supports the idea that a smart city does not need to be a megalopolis to be responsible and sustainable

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