Introducing the Smart City to Children: Lessons Learned from Hands-On Workshops in Classes

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Smart cities are receiving a lot of attention from researchers and practitioners as they are considered potential solutions to challenges (e.g., traffic congestion and waste management) faced by cities. As a result, the term “smart city” is recurring in political discourses and the news. Moreover, smart cities are transitioning from strong and technological orientations toward inclusive and participative orientations, and citizens are expected to take an active part in their design. However, the smart city concept remains obscure to the majority of the public; although many participation methods exist for adults, few have been implemented for children, who remain on the sidelines. Our objective is to address the lack of research on innovative initiatives to (1) educate children on the smart city concept and (2) include them in citizen participation dynamics. To achieve this, we propose a novel hands-on workshop where children learn about the smart city concept, are challenged with a collective urban planning exercise and develop a digital citizen participation method. This paper describes the workshop conducted and reports on lessons learned from its evaluation; the workshop involved 299 children from the ages of 12 to 14. It showed success in improving the children’s understanding of the smart city concept. We then propose future inclusive smart city research directions grounded in the evaluation results and the feedback received from multiple practitioners.
langue originaleAnglais
Numéro d'article1774
Numéro de publication3
Les DOIs
Etat de la publicationPublié - févr. 2023

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