A public lecture series on The Smart City

Rotterdam has the ambition to become a smart city. Sensors are tracking shoppers in its highstreets, garbage let the city know when they are full and algorithms predict crime before it happens. The city of the future is filled to the brim with technological gadgets that appear to have a solution for just about everything. But the new techno-optimism about Big Data, the Internet of Things and ‘blockchains’ also throw up new questions of ethics. Questions about privacy, the digital divide and political economic interests hidden in the ‘blackbox’ of technology.


Today Vivien Butot and Freek de Haan, from CESAM, will start teaching a short public summer course entitled “The smart city: Utopia or Prison”. With about twenty students of HOVO Rotterdam, the institute for senior’s education of Erasmus Academie, Vivien and Freek will explore the meaning of the smart city and the political concerns emerging around it.


Photo: Open Grid Scheduler, Flickr