Evaluating smart city transition and social injustice
Vulnerabilities of digital infrastructures as the achievement of inclusive smart city
Projektbezeichnung Evaluating smart city transition and social injustice
While smart city planning is on the near future sche- dule, the issue related to social and spatial inequali- ties is emerging. How has the issue related to social/ spatial inequalities been considered while transfor- ming into a smart city? How would the development of digital infrastructures impact marginalized groups such as older adults, minorities, households with
low incomes and persons with disabilities? This PhD project is inspired by the rapid digitalization ignited by the COVID19 pandemic. While the digital divide is a permanent social injustice in Hong Kong due to unequal access to technologies, this vulnerability is worsened especially within the marginalized groups during the pandemic. Hong Kong is intensively using the mandatory contact-tracing app to control the in- fection. Still, this technology turns out to exclude ci- tizens who have difficulties using technologies, not to mention citizens who refuse to use technologies due to undisclosed reasons.
In this regard, this PhD project aims to study the vulnerabilities of digital infrastructures especially manifested as social injustice during the smart city transition, and thus to develop countermeasures to enhance inclusiveness. Using Hong Kong as the cen- tral case study and several Western cities as compa- rative studies, the design and planning of commu-
nication (e.g. broadband coverage, usage of mobile applications) and mobility systems (e.g. modes of transport, payment methods) regarding smart city transition are the entry points of the research. Both systems are selected not only because they are pro- ven to be critical during the pandemic, but also re- present the circulation of critical infrastructures (KRITIS, 2020). In addition to the marginalized group, the reverse marginalized group, defined as the citizens with resistance to the usage of technolo- gies/ smart city transition, is also the focus.
  • Calvin, Ming Tsun Lai

Prof. Annette Rudolph-Cleff
Fachgebiet Entwerfen und Stadtentwicklung
Laufzeit Oct 2022 to Sep 2025