What is a "smart" city and how does technology and data play into it? What kind of cities do we want to live in the future? As we integrate more technology and platforms into our lives, we generate more data about ourselves that can be collected. It can make us feel powerless over our digital lives. This discussion will unpack some of the key privacy, equity, and justice concerns with smart cities and its related technologies. While there are many concerns related to these kinds of projects, we will examine some opportunities in this space — namely, the importance of values-based design by exploring different civic tech projects around the world. We see that they thrive not because of the technology, but because of their values.
Sharly Chan is a recent graduate of the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto with a focus on privacy and digital rights. She works in the intersection of digital and human rights and is a strong privacy advocate. Over the past few years, she has had the opportunity to explore the topic of smart cities in our own backyard.
She was chosen to be one of twelve fellows for the Sidewalk Toronto Youth Urban Fellowship (2018) where she had the opportunity to travel around the world and critically engage with policy leaders, technologists and urban planners about smart cities. Their report
provided a set of 27 recommendations for the proposed Quayside project in Toronto's Eastern waterfront to provide a more Torontonian vision of the project. Sharly is also a former community organizer at Civic Tech Toronto
, a diverse community of Torontonians finding solutions to civic challenges through technology, design or other means at weekly hacknights.