Smart cities: Utopia or neoliberal ideology?

Giuseppe Grossi, Pianezzi Daniela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Citations (Scopus)


This paper develops a critical understanding of the smart city by investigating the values and ideas that underpinthis concept and how they are translated into practice. It suggests that, despite private companies and municipalities promoting the smart city as a revolutionary utopia, this utopia is, on the contrary, an expression of the neoliberal ideology. The case study of the Italian city of Genoa shows that the smart city utopia acts as a generator of a collective imaginary while promoting the interests of business elites and diverting the attention away from urgent urban problems, such as urbanization. The neoliberal ideology influences the framing of these problems by favoring businessled technological solutions rather than political and long-term urban planning. The study suggests that this business-led utopia has important implications in terms of accountability of theactors involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Urban Policy and Planning
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Social Sciences (5)


  • Hermeneutics
  • Ideology
  • Neoliberalism
  • Smart city
  • Utopia


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