chapter  4
Socially constructed digital and smart cities
ByKatharine S. Willis, Alessandro Aurigi
Pages 20

This chapter provides a counterpoint to an understanding of the city as a technologically determined infrastructural system, and outlines the importance of a city where technology is constructed around the needs of society. It explores the city as a socially constructed set of activities, practices and organisations in order to open up a more holistic and citizen-centred understanding of how technology shapes urban change through the way it is imagined, used, implemented and developed in a societal context. The chapter outlines some key theoretical approaches such as social construction of technology (SCOT) and actor-network theory (ANT) that can be useful to provide a more socially constructed view of networks and infrastructures of the digital city. A socially constructed view of the digital and smart city can open up a wider, richer and certainly more dynamic and realistic view of how a city as a digitally enhanced place develops.