Smart is Not Enough

Publication Type: 
Other Writing
Publication Date: 
April 4, 2019


Despite increasing concern from the information security community, it is far from clear that even the smartest of U.S. cities are in a position to deal with the full range of new risks that the technology may bring. The required financial, social, security, operational, legal, and policy innovations needed for smart cities to deliver on their aforementioned promises do not appear to be moving at the pace of innovation of the technology. It is important that city managers, activists, engineers, and policymakers recognize that many of the most important hurdles to achieving the promise of the smart city will not be technological problems.

This paper will look at smart cities with a critical eye, examining this promise of a smart city and asking the questions we will have to wrestle with as technology becomes more and more integrated into our daily life in cities, states, and countries. We will also highlight some of the areas that need further attention if we are to continue the rapid deployment of smart city technology in our cities, states, and countries. We hope that this paper informs the range of stakeholders in smart cities—from the engineers who build the technology, to the city leaders who are responsible for making the best decisions for their constituents, to the activists and policymakers who look at the various aspects of what a smart city will mean in implementation.

Full paper available at New America