Humanization in the digital Age.

The Challenge of Smart Cities: Prioritizing People Over Technology

Technology allows us to accelerate results, but we have not yet fully achieved the concept of “smart cities”. This term often seems unattainable because it focuses too much on technology and not enough on people. As we delve into this concept, we realize that it is a title that often becomes too big and seems increasingly unattainable. If cities were truly intelligent, we could not depart from the concepts of urbanism, civitas and polis. The built environment, the place lived in and how we use these spaces are crucial. If we only focus on the tangible and material aspects, we forget the most important thing: the citizens. The more we believe that this system must be virtuous in terms of intelligence, the more we realize that “smart city” is a term coined in too much haste, often used for commercial purposes to promote a plausible future.

Technology should be an enabler to improve the quality of life. If we work for the common good, making decisions based on the needs of the community, we can create infrastructures that improve people’s lives. Accessible, appealing and understandable public spaces and services, and smart solutions that satisfy diverse users are essential.

Today, digitalization is ubiquitous, but not always in a healthy way. We must avoid settling for superficial digital services and remember that cities are a reflection of their citizens. A different city on a weekday transforms into something completely different during special events because people and shapes change.

If the city is not a reflection of its inhabitants, it will not be a truly habitable and meaningful space. Cities should be environments that allow people to understand and value the gift of community living. While this conversation may seem far removed from the concept of a “smart city,” it’s critical to recognize that the essence of a smart city lies in its ability to serve its citizens.

To create true smart cities, we must involve citizens in the design of technological solutions, ensuring that they meet their real needs. Fostering collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society is crucial to developing innovative and effective solutions. In addition, it is essential to educate citizens about the benefits and use of smart technologies to improve their acceptance and use.

Developing policies and regulations that promote sustainability, inclusion, and data protection in the context of Smart Cities is essential. Technology should be at the service of the community, not the other way around. A holistic approach is crucial to achieving meaningful results.

Technology must be used intelligently to facilitate informed decision-making and create accurate diagnoses. It’s important to avoid superficial solutions that only offer apparent benefits without addressing the underlying issues. The data generated by a city and its inhabitants should be considered an essential common good, an integral part of public infrastructure.

The real challenge in balanced cities lies in actively involving citizens in an urban model that defends their interests and promotes their participation in decision-making. This involves harnessing the collective intelligence of citizens to design public policies that respond effectively to their changing needs. Open access to urban data can empower citizens, allowing them to make informed decisions and actively participate in the life of their city. However, this also requires robust measures to protect data privacy and security, ensuring that its use benefits the community without compromising public trust.