(Re)Prioritizing Citizens in Smart Cities Governance: Examples of Smart Citizenship from Urban India

  • David Sadoway Concordia University ~ Centre for Engineering in Society (Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science)
  • Satyarupa Shekhar Researcher, Transparent Chennai.
Keywords: Smart Citizenship, Smart Cities, Urban Community Informatics, Urban Governance, Civic Engagement, E-Participation, Community Mapping, Participatory Planning, India, Chennai

Abstract

By examining the community-focused informatics work of Transparent Chennai (TC) (India) we seek to contrast the Smart Cities agenda — with its focus on the consumption and commercialization of digital technologies and infrastructure — to citizen-driven approaches, what we term, Smart Citizenship. A Smart Citizenship approach engages citizens in complementary digitally mediated and face-to-face processes that respect local knowledge systems. We devise a framework for understanding Smart Citizenship and link this to our case study of Transparent Chennai. Our research identifies how information and communication technologies (ICTs) can serve to spotlight overlooked or undervalued urban infrastructural, planning and environmental issues — such as the need for access to safe and clean public toilets; road safety and pro-pedestrian planning. We conclude by suggesting that a locally grounded Smart Citizenship agenda can reprioritize the needs and interests of local communities and neighbourhoods in urban governance, rather than those of exclusivist private commercial interests.

Author Biographies

David Sadoway, Concordia University ~ Centre for Engineering in Society (Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science)
Postdoctoral Fellow. Centre for Engineering in Society. Concordia University (Montreal). Visiting Fellow, Topology of Technology, Darmstadt Technical University (Germany); Visiting Researcher, National Institute of Urban Affairs (India).
Satyarupa Shekhar, Researcher, Transparent Chennai.
Researcher, Transparent Chennai.
Published
2014-11-26
How to Cite
Sadoway, D., & Shekhar, S. (2014). (Re)Prioritizing Citizens in Smart Cities Governance: Examples of Smart Citizenship from Urban India. The Journal of Community Informatics, 10(3). Retrieved from http://ci-journal.org/index.php/ciej/article/view/1179