A Critique of Smart Cities: Sidewalk Labs’ Project in Toronto

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Evans, Samuel




The term 'smart city' has become a popular buzzword in urban politics, but it has not received enough critical scrutiny given the enthusiastic adoption it has received from many scholars, governments, and corporations. This thesis contributes to broader efforts to critically analyze the concept. My work will provide a post-mortem analysis of a now canceled smart city project in Toronto, Canada. Even though the project will not be completed, there is ample material for an analysis of the project as a representation of what an 'actually-existing' smart city would look like as a comprehensive project. My thesis argues that the Toronto project (and many other projects) are organically linked to the politics and economics of accumulation of what scholars have called "urban neoliberalism." To do so, I examine the relationship between this project and interurban competition, capitalist accumulation and commodification, and privatization and corporate control.


Public Administration
Economics - Theory




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Political Economy

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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