My assignment consists of a Critical Practice assessment, based on a whiteboard animation video. It has great potential for storytelling. The video below is the draft version I have so far, and it is missing a voiceover, which is very important to guide the viewer through the story. (I hope you can use your imagination and get the general idea of the script!)
Based on Townsend’s (2013) and Sadowski’s (2015) descriptions of digital cities, I will focus on a few case studies that go beyond the existence of Digital Cities for digitalization-sake. The case studies we analyzed in previous lessons regarding drones is a good example (which I will not repeat here) about the use of digital technology in developing countries, and how digital cities are used as a means to an end. The end being, in this case, the contribution to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.
Townsend’s last paragraph from his introduction to smart cities has resonated with me: “I believe there is a better way to build smart cities than to simply call in the engineers. We need to lift up the civic leaders who would show us a different way. We need to empower ourselves to build future cities organically, from the bottom up, and do it in time to save ourselves from climate change.” (Townsend 2013, page 18).
I will focus on one case study, very close to my heart as I was the Project Manager for the content development component of the initiative. In Argentina, the province of San Luis has gone digital by enabling free Wi-Fi for all citizens as well as implementing a “one laptop per child” educational programme in primary schools. This addresses sustainable development goal number 4, Quality Education. It is a good example of a retrofitted and renovated digital city in a developing country, as well as a good example of the multidisciplinary approach needed to make an impact. The involvement of IT engineers, urban planners, ICT professionals and IT suppliers, education experts, pedagogues, sociologists, teachers, government officials, and last but not least, students and families, well are necessary to implement this programme.
The objectives of this assignment will be:
- To frame the concept of Digital Cities using Sadowski’s and Townsend’s theories
- To link digital cities to the development context through a case study taking place in a developing country
- To link the case study to a specific Sustainable Development Goal
- To describe the impact of digitalization in development
- To highlight the multidisciplinary and multisectoral approach required to ensure the digitlization of a city, especially in a developing country, produces the outcomes and impacts desired.
I was thinking of including a second case study referring to Goal number 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. However, I noticed that there is a lot more to explore with regards to digital cities and Goal number 4. For example:
- What roles do the stakeholders mentioned in the video have?
- What is the role of IT alone in achieving Goal 4?
- What were the failures and lessons learned from similar initiatives, like the one laptop per child initiative?
- More references to theory from our weekly assignments
- Include a video/additional multimedia to the whiteboard to expand Goal 4
Let me know your thoughts!
- Sustainable Development Goals. Available in: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs
- One Laptop per Child. Available in: http://one.laptop.org/
- Townsend, A.M., 2013. Smart Cities, New York: W. W. Norton & Company. xi-18.
- Sadowski, J. and Pasquale, F. (2015). The Spectrum of Control: A Social Theory of the Smart City.’ First Monday 20(7): Available at URL: http://firstmonday.org/article/view/5903/4660