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Nicos Komninos, Anastasia Panori and Christina Kakderi

Smart cities emerge from collaboration technologies (IoT, social media, blockchain), data science and AI. The algorithmic logic, under which these technologies operate, can be much more effective if combined with other sources of intelligence available in cities, such as human intelligence, creativity and innovation, collective and collaborative intelligence within institutions or over platforms. Along this line of thought, the first part of the book brings together authors that discuss the academic establishment of the smart city paradigm as outcome of collaborative endeavour rather than algorithms and automation. The second part focuses on major technologies that allow collaborative initiatives to develop at large scale. Smart cities are a technological construct driven by information technologies and embedded smart objects, but also a complex cyber-physical system in which cities, knowledge processes, and digital technologies are blended to generate new solutions. The third part of the book looks into the governance of smart cities, and mainly how technologies and digital platforms allow for citizen engagement and the setting of collaboration networks that generate innovations for better cities.

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Smart Cities in the Post-algorithmic Era

Integrating Technologies, Platforms and Governance

Edited by Nicos Komninos and Christina Kakderi

Examining the changing nature of cities in the face of smart technology, this book studies key new challenges and capabilities defined by the Internet of Things, data science, blockchain and artificial intelligence. It argues that using algorithmic logic alone for automation and optimisation in modern smart cities is not sufficient, and analyses the importance of integrating this with strong participatory governance and digital platforms for community action.
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Jeroen Oskam

This chapter analyses how the concept of ‘sharing’ relates to the smart city paradigm. Theories on ‘sharing’ and on smart cities have discursive resemblances, as both seek to connect communities, to empower residents and to promote the efficient use of resources. However, if we look at the actual practice of what is known as ‘sharing’, rather than taking the prescriptive perspective of what it ought to be, this practice may contradict its original inspiration and, therefore, the purpose of smart cities. The chapter will look at the origins and development of Uber and Airbnb, analyse their growth dynamics as ‘multisided platforms’ as well as their influence on incumbents and their negative externalities. The conclusion is that platforms rely on secrecy as a strategic weapon, and that they disempower citizens by contributing to the commodification of their neighbourhoods.

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Akın Özdemir, Karima Kourtit and Peter Nijkamp

Modern cities face a range of challenges and threats caused, inter alia, by intense population growth, environmental pollution, climate change, poverty, unemployment, lack of safety, migration and socio-economic inequality. Smart cities presuppose an innovative and knowledge-based approach to cope with these challenges and threats to improve urban quality of life and to make the city more inclusive and competitive. Digital technologies provide the tools to enhance the empirical knowledge about the city and its residents. This chapter addresses the question: ‘Under which conditions is social policy a facilitator of smart city strategies?’ Using a broad inventory and multi-disciplinary approach, and with the help of an extensive literature review, this chapter aims to provide a better understanding of the technology-based issues of smart cities and the position of those social groups most affected by these developments. The authors develop a conceptual framework for mapping out the forces at work. They also argue that digital technologies can be more accessible and usable for more city residents through social policy.

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Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko

Technological development has had a dramatic impact on urban life and the pace of change is likely to continue to be fast for the foreseeable future. This chapter draws attention to fundamental changes in the logic of urban life affected by technologically enhanced disembedding mechanisms, examples of which include a range of autonomous service, learning, interactive, and control systems. The chapter conceptualizes the fundamental dimensions and emerging forms of algorithm-based practices in local public affairs. The discussion starts with a contextual description of the algorithmic revolution. It then concretizes this idea by focusing on the use of algorithms in politics, regulation, governance, and service provision, and it lastly exemplifies real-life developments by presenting a few cases from the USA. Paradigmatic examples include the use of algorithms in law enforcement and eligibility systems, which have a profound impact on people’s lives. Such systems have the undeniable potential to smarten up decision-making and governance processes, but they may at the same time increase inflexibility, opacity, and bias.

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Jos van den Broek, Franziska Eckardt and Paul Benneworth

Universities play an important role in the knowledge based economy, and are key regional actors, providing knowledge, resources and human capital. Border regions are a specific type of peripheral region, often peripheral in terms of distance to the centre and national governments. But even in centrally located border regions developing integrated cross-border region is mostly often deemed less important than regional and national issues. Many most border regions may benefit from building-up cross-border connections and developing systemic interactions between actors over the border. Universities can play an important role in shaping regional innovation systems, and cross-border regions are interesting because of this inherent fragmentation. We explore universities’ role that universities can play in cross-border regions, in terms of developing linkages to other sectors (business, public sector) and linkages over the border. On this basis we develop a conceptual typology for university involvement in cross-border regions.

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Emiline Smith

This chapter attempts to provide a regional overview of transnational criminality in Asia, a continent marked by great diversity. It makes use of selected examples of illegal flows of goods and services, such as the trafficking of drugs, weapons, people, and cultural and natural resources, to explain the causes, consequences and challenges associated with transnational criminality in Asia. Recent large-scale trade liberalisation and infrastructure projects, such as China’s Belt and Road Initiative, promote connectivity and mobility across the region and even globally. However, such initiatives also risk facilitating transnational criminality, particularly when combined with the widespread economic underdevelopment, conflict and corruption that still trouble parts of Asia. Additionally, countering the many forms of transnational crime is made more difficult by differences in legislation and law enforcement capacity between countries. Combined, these factors have meant that transnational criminality is now firmly entrenched in every country in Asia.

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Anton Moiseienko

This chapter offers an overview of transnational crime emanating from ex-Soviet countries, also commonly known as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region. It focuses on three types of non-violent, profit-driven crime – corruption, fraud and cybercrime – and outlines typical criminal modi operandi, especially their cross-border dimension. The chapter also sheds light on the dual role of developed states, particularly those in Western Europe and North America, as both victims and unwitting facilitators of such crime, and discusses the attempts of foreign law enforcement agencies to counteract criminal activities that originate in ex-Soviet countries.

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Rafael Diniz Pucci

Transnational organised crime (TOC) in South America is deeply related to the imbalance between developed and developing countries. TOC has harmful consequences not only for the economy of South American countries, but also for the continent’s environment and society as a whole. To assess emergent issues with regard to TOC in South America, two main aspects are analysed: first, trends in specific areas and the state discourse and, second, responses to TOC within the continent.

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Dominique Mystris

Through recognition of the relevance and African context of transnational crimes, this chapter considers the facilitating factors and attitudes contributing to such crimes and what the African Union (AU) is doing to address them. By analysing the historical background and the interlinkages between politics and transnational crimes, how the crimes have been taken from the illicit into the licit becomes clear. The means and methods by which the AU attempts to address transnational crimes is assessed with reference to its approach towards corruption and trafficking in human beings, as well as the proposed International Criminal Law Section of the African Court. Examples of the methods include hard and soft law approaches, the promotion of harmonisation of laws and cooperative efforts with the African Regional Economic Communities and Mechanisms, and non-African organisations and institutions. Yet, despite AU efforts, the initiatives and approaches have gained limited traction.