A newly published article Why Smart Cities and Smart Mobilities might not turn out to be smart for all by Tanu Priya Uteng PhD, Hilda Rømer Christensen PhD and Lena Levin PhD, is arguing why the gender lens provides a vantage point to address the agenda of creating inclusive cities.

The article was published in THINKING CITIES magazine and its summary (check below) provides food for thought:

The ‘smart’ agenda needs to actually look up the dictionary meaning of the word smart. After this relatively simple job is done, we urge that the technical focus embedded in the smart agenda is steered towards becoming more ‘inclusive’. It is thus important that the conceptual foundation of quality-of-life (QOL) and subjective well-being (SWB) be employed to inform the framing of future smart agenda. Such shifts will aid in identifying and estimating the links between gender, time use, travel time, and the extent to which the overall quality of life is affected by smart solutions. Sweet and Kanaroglou (2016) find that travel times serve as inputs in activity participation and therefore – at least for women – indirectly contribute to higher levels of SWB. These findings suggest that focusing on activity participation as a chief policy objective in transportation planning could yield higher quality-of-life benefits than a policy focus on travel-time savings (ibid:10). Finally, we insist that upcoming and proposed smart solutions be analysed with this framework in mind and build on increasing accessibility (rather than mobility) to key destinations supporting livelihood, health and education.