Social Responsibility

Designing for ‘everyone’ is not the path to an inclusive smart city

Hannah Kaner, smart cities strategist at Orange Bus, argues in Information Age that when it comes to optimising citizen interaction with smart city development, we must target areas of the city where services are failing and address inclusivity.
Inclusive ‘smart city’ development doesn’t necessarily mean we should ‘build for everyone’. Many desire to design products and services ‘for everyone’ — the wider we cast our net, the more fish we’ll catch.

This is not necessarily true. It’s far too easy to make assumptions about how ‘everyone’ fits into our ideal ‘smart’ environment. It is easier still to assume that the people we are designing for are able-bodied, digitally literate, and financially stable.

When we’re creating the environment of the future, it should work for real people, not idealised and unrealistic model citizens. Unfortunately, a lot of smart city development ends up helping those who need it the least. We upgrade central transport links, automate bin collection, install 5G and traffic control, and these are important and interesting innovations that help city services function more smoothly and with less expense.

> Read entire article Designing for ‘everyone’ is not the path to an inclusive smart city | InformationAge | Andrew Ross

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