Centre for Internet & Society

This is a session proposed for the Internet Researchers' Conference (IRC) 2016 by Ravi Shukla and Bharath Palavalli.



With the increasing focus on making things - devices, services, cities, even planets - smart, there is a need to engage with the idea of smartness. What constitutes it? Who decides? Is there a need to re-conceptualize our understanding of these increasingly pervasive technologies and if so, how do we begin to do so?

The session engages with two inter-related questions - a) What constitutes a smart city? and b) How can we approach internet/digital technologies as enablers of basic, urban public services?



The session is broken up into three sections of half an hour each.

Content Overview

The first section involves the presentation of the findings of a survey across different social groups of what constitutes a "smart city". This is followed by a Q & A session with the audience.

The second section involves presenting the findings of a pilot project using SMS technology as an enabler for public services within a community. This is followed by a Q & A session with the audience.

The third section involves asking people in the audience to list 5 characteristics that constitute (or in some cases, *don't* constitute) public services in a "smart" city. Depending on the size of the audience, either these responses can be collected individually or it can be broken into groups of 3-5 people. The responses are then collected and shared with the audience - either during the session (if time allows) or over email/website.

Expected Outcomes

At the end of the session we expect a set of responses on what characterizes public services in a "smart" city. These are seen as helping in drawing out a research/practice agenda on how internet/digital technologies may act as enablers of public services.





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