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Smart Cities in Canada: Digital Dreams, Corporate Designs

Independent experts analyze often-controversial schemes from Nunavut to Montreal to Toronto's failed Sidewalk Labs waterfront scheme

edited by Mariana Valverde & Alexandra Flynn

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list price: $22.95
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
published: 2020
ISBN:9781459415447
imprint: Lorimer
Description

"Smart cities" use surveillance, big data processing and interactive technologies to reshape urban life. Transit riders can see the bus coming on a map on their phones. Cities can measure and analyze the garbage collected from every household. Businesses can track individuals' movements and precisely target advertisements.

Google's failed Sidewalk Labs proposal in Toronto, which drew sharp criticism over surveillance and privacy concerns, is just one of the many smart city projects which have been proposed or are underway in Canada. Iqaluit, Edmonton, Guelph, Montreal and other cities and towns are all grappling with how to use these technologies. Some cities have quickly partnered with digital giants like Uber, Bell and IBM. Others have kept their distance. Big tech companies are hard at work recruiting customers and shaping — sometimes making — public policy on data collection and privacy.

Smart Cities for Canada: Digital Dreams, Corporate Designs is the first book on smart cities in Canada. In this collection, experts from across the country investigate what this new approach means for the problems cities face, and expose the larger issues about urban planning and democracy raised by smart city technology. This is a valuable, timely, independent-minded book for Canadians.

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Contributor notes

MARIANA VALVERDE is a Professor in the University of Toronto Centre for Criminology & Socioecology Studies. She has written several books about law and urban governance and is currently researching smart cities and public-private partnerships. She lives in Toronto.

ALEXANDRA FLYNN is an Assistant Professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, specializing in municipal law and governance. Her current research project focuses on indigenous-municipal relationships in the land use planning process, including in Nunavut. She lives in Vancouver.

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About the Authors

Mariana Valverde

Mariana Valverde is Professor at the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto, as well as its former Director from 2007 to 2013. She also holds a courtesy cross-appointment to the Department of Geography and Planning as well as the Faculty of Law. She has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 2006.
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Alexandra Flynn

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