1What Do We Mean by “Smart City” and Where Does This Idea Come From?

Three names are to be remembered: Songdo, Masdar and Plan IT Valley.

The city of Songdo, in Korea, was developed by an American company in partnership with a steel-making company called Posco and a company called Cisco with a budget of 40 billion dollars. The city received cutting-edge digital technologies provided by Cisco and is presented as being “100% connected”. The people can work out with their online coaches, commercials will adapt depending on who is watching them, and all access points use biometric scanning. Close behind is Masdar in Abu Dhabi which cost 22 billion dollars. It is a city designed to hold 40,000 people and appears as a cluster of technologies that manage most limitations of a city built on a desert: energy production, water, climate control, integrated transport that removes the need for automobiles, etc. And lastly, we have Plan IT Valley in Portugal for an investment of 10 billion dollars, which hopes to hold 225,000 people. Financed by Cisco, Microsoft and a British engineering company, it is meant to provide an archetype for an entirely connected urban system able to manage all connected spaces and networkable activity.

The problem is that none of these cities are lived in, other than Songdo, and even then, far less than it was originally hoped. These are cities designed for rich people where there are no poor, sick or old people and no delinquency. These cities were created in ...

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