Smart cities collect data for many different purposes, such as to manage resources and service delivery. While using data to monitor traffic and control when streetlights turn on are relatively innocuous examples of how data can be used, privacy concerns arise when personal data is collected for more nefarious purposes, such as for surveillance. For this reason, a city can be “smart,” but not just or inclusive. Without transparent, inclusive governance and community engagement, smart cities may not be all things to all people, especially marginalized groups.

  • Sarah Burch is a CIGI senior fellow with expertise on financing sustainable development, particularly on the exploration of innovative solutions to address challenges associated with climate change and sustainability.