Fear and Fantasy in the Smart City
The “smart city” has emerged as the latest urban buzzword in discussions of the elementary functions of the modern city. Attracting corporate power, money and private tech companies (e.g., Cisco, Google, IBM, Tesla), the smart city has become a popular brand because it is presented primarily as an evidence-based, objective and value-neutral concept. In this article, we will question precisely this “non-ideology” ideology of the smart city and argue that the phenomenon of the smart city demands a critical criminological response, as much as a philosophical and sociological one. First, we argue that instruments which were classified traditionally as tools of surveillance and control are now rebranded as essential components of the smart city package in order to increase the cleanliness and order of the city. Second, we consider how the smart city oscillates within a social imaginary populated by feelings of fear and fantasy. We conclude by suggesting that the smart city not only reproduces the social order, but also produces new social categories out of new forms of smart governance of crime and disorder.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Barber, B. (2013). If mayors ruled the world: Dysfunctional nations, rising cities. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Baudrillard, J. (1979). Seduction. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Bowker, G. C., & Star, S. L. (2000). Sorting things out: Classification and its consequences. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Caragliu, A., Del Bo, C., & Nijkamp, P. (2009). Smart cities in Europe. Serie research memoranda 0048, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.Google Scholar
- Clarke, R. V. G., & Mayhew, P. M. (1980). Designing out crime. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
- Cocchia, A. (2014). Smart and digital city: A systematic literature review. In R. Dameri & C. Rosenthal-Sabroux (Eds.), Smart city. Progress in IS (pp. 13–43). Cham: Springer.Google Scholar
- Conrad, P., & Schneider, J. W. (1980). Deviance and medicalization from badness to sickness. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
- Cresswell, T. (1996). In place/out of place: Geography, ideology, and transgression. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- Davis, M. (1992). City of quartz: Excavating the future in Los Angeles. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
- Diachuk, M. (2018). Data-driven smart cities: From big data to security. DZone. September 18. https://dzone.com/articles/data-driven-smart-cities-from-big-data-to-security. Accessed 28 March 2019.
- Douglas, M. ( 1980), Purity and danger. An analysis of concepts of pollution and taboo. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Foucault, M. (2009). Security, territory, population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977–1978. New York: Picador.Google Scholar
- Garland, D. (1985). Punishment and welfare: A history of penal strategies. Aldershot, UK: Gower.Google Scholar
- Greenfield, A. (2013). Against the smart city. New York: Do Projects.Google Scholar
- Hall, T., & Hubbard, P. (1998). The entrepreneurial city: geographies of politics, regime, and representation. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Harcourt, B. E. (2007). Against prediction: Profiling, policing, and punishing in an actuarial age. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Hayward, K. (2004). City limits: Crime, consumer culture and the urban experience. London: Glasshouse.Google Scholar
- Katz, B., & Bradley, J. (2013). The metropolitan revolution: How cities and metros are fixing our broken politics and fragile economy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
- Kumar, V. T. M. (Ed.). (2017). E-democracy for smart cities. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Lyon, D. (Ed.). (2003). Surveillance as social sorting: Privacy, risk, and digital discrimination. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Morozov, E., & Bria, F. (2018). Rethinking the smart city: Democratizing urban technology. New York Office: Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung.Google Scholar
- Naafs, S. (2018). ‘Living laboratories’: the Dutch cities amassing data on oblivious residences. The Guardian. March 1. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/mar/01/smart-cities-data-privacy-eindhoven-utrecht. Accessed 28 March 2019.
- Newman, O. (1972). Defensible space. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Peeters, R., & Schuilenburg, M. (2018). Machine justice: Governing security through the bureaucracy of algorithms. Information Polity. An International Journal of Government and Democracy in the Information Age, 23(3), 267–280.Google Scholar
- Rometty, G. (2013). Leadership in the era of smart. Speech delivered at Think Forum Japan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LfISCMahlU. Accessed 15 March 2019.
- Sadowski, J., & Pasquale, F. (2015). The spectrum of control: A social theory of the smart city. http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/5903/4660. Accessed 15 March 2019.
- Schuilenburg, M. (2018). Opgeruimd staat netjes. Over de sociologie van gebiedsverboden en de praktijk van het Collectief Winkelverbod, Justitiële verkenningen, 44(2), 27–40.Google Scholar
- Schuilenburg, M., & Peeters, R. (2018). Smart cities and the architecture of security: Pastoral power and the scripted design of public space. City, Territory and Architecture, 5(13), 1–9.Google Scholar
- Stimmel, C. L. (2016). Building smart cities. Analytics, ICT, and design thinking. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.Google Scholar
- Taylor, C. (2004). Modern social imaginaries. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
- Thaler, R. H., & Sunstein, C. R. (2009). Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
- Townsend, A. M. (2013). Smart cities: Big data, civic hackers, and the quest for a New Utopia. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
- Van Eijk, G. (2016). Socioeconomic marginality in sentencing: The built-in bias in risk assessment tools and the reproduction of social inequality. Punishment & Society, 19(4), 1–19.Google Scholar
- Wright, T. (1997). Out of place: Homeless mobilizations, subcities, and contested landscapes. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar