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"I'm an Engineer, and I'm not buying into 'Smart' Cities!
Sensor-equipped garbage cans sound cool, but someone still has to take out the trash."
So asserts Dr. Shoshanna Saxe, PEng (Ontario)Assistant Professor, Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Please consider stepping back from"Leading-Edge Technology" solutions and discuss Dr. Saxe's perspectives to, at least, the following examples from her article.
Q1. "We accept regular disruptions in internet and cellphone function as a fact of life. Technology ages rapidly, with glitches increasing common only a couple of years into its life. But would we accept the same rate of disruption in, say, our water and power services?"
Q2. "New technology in 2015 will be outdated before 2020. If we widely deploy smart tech in cities, we need to be prepared to replace it every few years, with the associated disruption and cost. But who will assume those costs?"
Q3. "Managing all the sensors and data will require a brand-new municipal bureaucracy staffed by tech, data-science and machine-learning experts. Cities will either need to raise the funds required to pay a tech staff or outsource much of their smart city to private companies. Since current average salaries for tech workers are typically higher than for public employees, such a bureaucracy is likely to be expensive. If the answer is to outsource that staffing to private companies, then cities need to have frank conversations about what that means for democratic governance."
Q4. "The most critical question, however, is whether having a smart city will make us meaningfully better at solving urban problems. Data and algorithms alone don't actually add very much on their own. No matter how much data a city has, addressing urban challenges will still require stable long-term financing, good management and effective personnel. If smart data identifies a road that needs paving, it still needs people to show up with asphalt and a steamroller."
Q5. "Rather than chasing the newest shiny smart-city technology, we should redirect some of that energy toward building excellent dumb cities - cities planned and built with best-in-class, durable approaches to infrastructure and the public realm. For many of our challenges, we don't need new technologies or new ideas; we need the will, foresight and courage to use the best of the old ideas.
As we consider the city of the 21st century, we do well to remember that the things we love most about cities - parks, public spaces, neighborhood communities, education opportunities - are made and populated by people, not technology. Tech has a place in cities, but that place is not everywhere."
Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/16/opinion/smart-cities.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_190717?campaign_id=2&instance_id=10896&segment_id=15275&user_id=c3eaadcf782adabd39a34eab0c5d264c®i_id=653809560717 downloaded 17JUL2019