Educating the smart city: Schooling smart citizens through computational urbanism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Coupled with the ‘smart city’, the idea of the ‘smart school’ is emerging in imaginings of the future of education. Various commercial, governmental and civil society organizations now envisage education as a highly coded, software-mediated and data-driven social institution. Such spaces are to be governed through computational processes written in computer code and tracked through big data. In an original analysis of developments from commercial, governmental and civil society sectors, the article examines two interrelated dimensions of an emerging smart schools imaginary: (1) the constant flows of digital data that smart schools depend on and the mobilization of analytics that enable student data to be used to anticipate and shape their behaviours; and (2) the ways that young people are educated to become ‘computational operatives’ who must ‘learn to code’ in order to become ‘smart citizens’ in the governance of the smart city. These developments constitute an emerging educational space fabricated from intersecting standards, technologies, discourses and social actors, all infused with the aspirations of technical experts to govern the city at a distance through both monitoring young people as ‘data objects’ and schooling them as active ‘computational citizens’ with the responsibility to compute the future of the city.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalBig Data and Society
Issue number2
Early online date1 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • citizens
  • code
  • computational urbanism
  • data
  • governance
  • smart city
  • sociotechnical imaginary


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