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SXSW 2020

Keeping Smart Cities Smart with Digital Justice

This session will discuss principles on how residents can ensure they have the civic infrastructure can support public ownership over smart cities. Currently, tech companies are driving the vision for smart cities, where lots of data and automated decision-making around that data is used to build urban utopias.

This is an opportunity for cities to push pause so that technology can complement a vision for an urban future where all residents can see themselves in it. We will talk about how residents are mobilizing to get our cities asking about what the responsibilities of tech companies are in promising public services. We will also suggest some tools for developing civic infrastructure land what the ethical responsibilities of technology companies are in shaping our urban future.

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  1. Local governments need to develop their civic infrastructure to hold tech companies accountable in their bid to provide public goods.
  2. Residents can push their cities to develop and adopt needed civic infrastructure. Cities Coalition for Digital Rights is a good example of this.
  3. Tech companies wishing to impact urban life have an ethical and democratic responsibility to cities. We have tools to help them think through this.



Andrew Do, Service Designer, City of Austin

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Government & Politics
  • Level: Intermediate
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