Richard Sennett’s new book, Buildings and Dwellings, has a new variety of ambivalence about so-called “smart cities.” It’s one I hadn’t heard.
From the Los Angeles Review of Books’ review:
Referring to smart cities that use technology to dictate city life and surveil citizens, he warns, “By using machines, people would stop learning. They would become stupefied. The prescriptive smart city is a site for this stupefaction.”
But there might be a kind of “smart” that actually makes people, not machines, smarter.
Sennett, though, holds out hope for technology that can “coordinate” urban life, by exposing citizens to new ideas and enabling them to understand their worlds and voice their opinions more clearly than they currently can.