Against the backdrop of a global democratic recession, officials on nearly every continent are integrating advanced digital tools into municipal governance through “smart city” projects, the International Forum for Democratic Studies reports.
These projects, which are popular in autocracies and democracies alike, leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to collect and analyze unprecedented amounts of data about urban life. Will smart cities spread authoritarian influence and speed the erosion of democratic norms, or can societies find ways to harness digitalization for democracy?
Please join the Forum for a public virtual event examining smart cities in the context of democratic backsliding. Bárbara Simão and Roukaya Kasenally, contributors to the recent report Smart Cities and Democratic Vulnerabilities, will share their findings on smart city governance in Brazil and Mauritius, with comments from Larry Diamond on the wider implications for struggling democracies. Beth Kerley will moderate the discussion. RSVP