Making a Civic Smart City

2018 - 2019

A powerpoint presentation overlaid with a blue texture

The Right to the Smart City workshop aimed to disrupt the common practice of implementing smart technologies without public input by encouraging collaborative problem-solving and public engagement in defining and implementing digital infrastructure in cities, resulting in a "Making A Civic Smart City" white paper and actionable playbooks for multiple cities, with follow-up workshops and webinars.

Download white paper Visit website

About the Project

Problem Space

Often governments and corporations embrace smart technologies as solutions to problems without public input or reflection. The Right to the Smart City workshop sought to disrupt this dynamic and create models of a civic smart city that works with publics to define problems, and reflect on potential solutions, before implementing new technologies.

Proposed Intervention

Attendees were asked to answer the following question: “What are the best ways of involving publics in decision-making about smart digital infrastructure and tools in their city?” They were also presented with scenarios that embodied the challenges to smart cities and asked to design the implementation of a smart city that has methods for effectively engaging publics.

Social Impact

Based on the outcomes of the symposium, we drafted a summary document, as well as a process outline which is available online at, along with the white paper “Making A Civic Smart City.” Follow-up workshops in Boston, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Detroit will focus on creating locally actionable playbooks Online webinars will also be available for those unable to attend the in-person workshops.


Logo image for ASU Center for Smart Cities and RegionsLogo image for City As PlatformLogo image for Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard
Logo image for Knight Foundation

Project Contact

For inquiries about this project, please contact