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Why the common practices matter in smart cities

(1) YounSun Won

(1) Erasmus University, Rotterdam

[excerpt] The smart city planning became a buzzword. Cities explored the possibility of technology to improve urban infrastructure for sustainability. As technological advancements and urban challenges have risen, cities started integrating technology with a range of urban challenges, such as public safety, air quality monitoring, transportation, and energy systems (ISO, 2016, 2019, 2021). Since 2010s, there has been a great deal of technological expansion, such as IoT, IoB, Big data, and AI. Cities have deployed various high-tech solutions into a smart city strategy, in other words, what smart cities aim for is to improve urban quality.

Some cities implement innovative technologies to enhance urban living, others establish the urban system for an efficient transportation system, or might be committed to sustainable urban development by using the technology. Thus the implementation of the smart city concept across the world is related to different practices that people share; however, many cities seemed to overlook the importance of what common practices are there. Common practices refer to economic, social, and cultural practices that people share in a certain community/ city/ nation (Won, 2020). Common practices in Rotterdam, for instance, are different from those in Seoul. In Rotterdam, hands-on practice matters, yet, in Seoul, feasibility more matters. If so, the smart city strategy of each city might be culturally differently designed. The contribution of this article, as a part of the editorial project initiated by KEA, is to shed light on a crucial point in question that many smart city schemes are missing: common practices. In the sense that the common practices in smart cities are involved in the question of how people’s standards of living can be improved through different kinds of cultural activities, this issue better to be analysed with a cultural economics perspective, to find a proper way of valuing them. [...]

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