Week 12 Digital cities – Summary

Week 12 Digital cities – Summary

One of the news headlines on the news in May was regarding an “NHS cyber attack”. This hack had a major impact on the NHS and it affected many hospitals who as a result were forced to turn away some of their patients regardless of how serious their case was. This is one of the examples that shows that as cities and countries are slowly shifting everything into the digital world, it is important to keep improving the security system regarding data and personal information in order to avoid such unfortunate situation. Prior to taking this module, I didn’t raise any concern regarding the importance of big data, open data, privacy, dashboard etc. However, being able to understand how vital it is to our cities and our daily lives, it has allowed me to appreciate technology even more. Learning about Digital Cities has been a fascinating journey because I had the privilege to academically learn and analyze facts that we are all already experiencing in our new digital world.
As stated by Townsend (2013),” The old city of concrete, glass, and steel now conceals a vast world of computers and software. Linked up via the Internet, these devices are stitched together into a nervous system that supports the daily lives of billions … They dispatch packages, elevators, and ambulances…. That machine now runs the world on our behalf…. It is a historic shift on how we build and manage our cities (pg xvii)”.

One of the main subject that shaped my idea for the assignment 2 is on “Digital Cities and sustainability”. Being able to explore how a digital city can contribute to making digital cities greener and eco-friendly by recycling and using sustainable material has enlightened my perception of smart cities and development. To be able to learn that a city that is thriving economically should also think about tomorrow and promote sustainability inspired my essay topic for this module. I will explore the how cities in developing countries can incorporate the notion of sustainability before moving into the digital. My essay will focus on the city of Kinshasa which is the capital of the DR Congo.


Behrendt, F. (2017).Sustainability and Sensing

Kitchin, R., Lauriault, T., and McArdle, G. (2015). Knowing and governing cities through urban indicators, city benchmarking and real-time dashboards. Regional Studies, Regional Science, 2(1), pp.6-28.

Liang, L. and Paddison, L. (2017). Could 3D printing help tackle poverty and plastic waste?. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/nov/06/3d-printing-plastic-waste-poverty-development-protoprint-reflow-techfortrade [Accessed 29 May 2017]

Morefield, A. (2016). Five Ways 3D Printing can help Alleviate Poverty

Townsend, A., M. 2013. Smart Cities. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.