Trust in the Smart City
Using a multi-disciplinary approach, the project maps various dimensions of the Smart City with a view to contributing to theoretical elaboration and empirical enrichment for the case of Hong Kong. The project title - Trust and the Smart City - links multi-disciplinary debates over trust that have particular purchase at the level of urban politics to the question of the Smart City. Rather than primarily involving a narrow set of technical issues, debates over the digital city get to the heart of the public sphere, as they involve public-private interactions, trans-national learning, public debates and ethical dilemmas: in sum, all matters of interdisciplinary social scientific inquiry.
These questions of trust in the smart city are addressed by two pairs of case studies: the first pairing defines the Smart City as a technical enterprise in term of Smart energy grids and the Hong Kong Smart ID card. The second coupling of cases test the possibilities for participatory co-construction and reflect on the ethical underpinnings of Big Data. The hypothesis underpinning the project Trust and the Smart City is that public acceptability is a cornerstone of an effective public policy. The future of the digital city relies on strengthening the ‘weak ties’ that bind consumers, providers and public authorities.
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