Saturday, January 10, 2015

Review of "Smart Cities" by Anthony Townsend

When I picked up Smart Cities by Anthony Townsend, I was expecting to learn more about "best practices" on using ICT for urban management. Something to add on to my list of inspirational stories that I could share with city leaders in Southeast Asia. After all, the author works at Silicon Valley's Institute for the Future and directs urban research at NYU.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Smart City offers something much more fundamental than a collection of urban ICT best practices. In fact, it is a call to view ICT for what it is: a tool which should be used consciously and critically to improve the lives of citizens. At the base of that call, is a reminder on the importance of good civic governance.