Smart city projects in the continuity of the urban socio-technical regime: The French case

Gilles Jeannot
<span title="2019-08-19">2019</span> <i title="IOS Press"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="" style="color: black;">Information Polity</a> </i> &nbsp;
The purpose of the article is to assess whether smart city projects developed in France represent continuity or a break with the established socio-technical regime of French cities. Our assessment attempts to establish a link between the main socio-technical features of French cities in existing literature and an exhaustive list of "smart city"-labelled projects compiled from twenty French cities. It reveals more of continuity than a break with the urban socio-technical regime generated by
more &raquo; ... projects. Technologies are not evenly developed along different domains: the fact that the most sophisticated innovations play out in the regulation of networks rather than in e-government reinforces an old two-speed urban modernisation. The mainly technological character of these projects is part of the continuity of a depoliticised strategy for managing technical matters. Co-production opportunities renew a tradition of local management and processing of grievances. Traditional public-private partnerships are only partially modified. Key points for practitioners: Smart cities often emerge as a collection of technology-driven experimentations. Rather than an integrated model, the dominant development paradigm is an accumulation of sector-based innovations. In this context the article raises two points. -The success of a particular experimentation depends on its capacity to get along with national organisational and political institutions. Smart city projects seem to be more popular when they strengthen longstanding features of the urban socio-technical regime. The modality of representative and participative democracy and the traditions of public private partnerships, in particular, could facilitate or hinder certain innovations. -Technologies are not evenly developed in different domains. The innovations linked to sensors and data analytics are deployed in the regulation of networks. The link with citizens is more impacted by the combination of smartphone and GPS. The question of the integration of e-government is renewed by a possible technological gap or a two-speed modernization linked to this uneven development of technologies.
<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="">doi:10.3233/ip-190128</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">fatcat:2pjpk3q7l5eb5fllb4razrz6au</a> </span>
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