Big cities – London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, New York and Tokyo – are the stars of academic studies and the smart city industry. But what about small cities? Small cities cannot match the performance of financial, technological, touristic centers of the world, hence they do not possess the budget or the resources of even the human capital necessary for digital transformation. Or do they?!
The smart city industry is a cash cow and the pandemic will definitely accelerate this trend. But what about the people?
This is what I wanted to find out in Darmstadt: how a local administration sensitive to the dangers of technology and to the needs of the people addresses digital transformation.
The biggest fear of people was to not be overcome and overwhelmed by technology.
And by the way, the management of the Digital City has a series of committees that push forward and oversee the idea of tech for the people. According to them, they are among the few in Europe with an ethics committee, which has drawn up a series of ethical principles that should guide the local administration in the adoption of new technologies. As a matter of fact, this is the reason why they turned down a series of “black box” tech solutions offered to them, as they did not want to use technologies that could not be explained and opened up to the citizens,