Smart cities: people first, technology second

The recent Westminster eForum smart cities conference emphasised societal outcomes over obsession with tech, reports Philip Mason

Smart cities are likely to become an increasingly relevant topic over the coming years, not just in magazines such as Land Mobile, but also across the wider, non-tech geek, world.

There are a variety of reasons for this, the primary one being the impact that the widespread roll-out of Internet of Things solutions in an urban context is likely to have across different facets of society. These include law enforcement, tourism, city governance and transport, just to name a few – something which will in turn likely transform how everyday life is lived across the board.

With that in mind, it’s also likely that the discussion, which up until now quite understandably has centred in the main on infrastructure and solutions, will shift towards the needs of the citizenry themselves. What actual benefit are they getting out of it and, more to the point, what level of say do they want/should they have in the matter? (Governance of technology rather than through technology, in other words, to paraphrase someone who will feature later on in this article).

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