Smart Cities: Digital Economies and Digital Societies in 4IR
Elective Class for the Master of Science in Urban Science, Policy and Planning (2018 course code: 02.546)

Led by: POON King Wang, Dr Samuel CHNG, Dr Gayathri HARIDAS, and Dr Thijs WILLEMS

“How do I make the smart city work?”

This course is designed specially for MUSPP students by the LKYCIC to answer this question, as they embark on related careers in industry, government and academia.

Students need not have a technical background. All they need is a capacity to respect each other’s intellect, and to be willing to have a robust discussion with each other in the safety of the classroom. That way, we can build on each other’s ideas, and advance our individual and collective understanding.

The course links smart city theory and practice. It will equip students with an understanding of the different domains and stakeholders in the smart city. It will trace the evolution and development of smart cities, as well as the technologies, systems, and urban infrastructure that underpin them. The case for and the criticisms against smart cities will be examined, with a strong emphasis on the human and social dimensions. The impact of emerging economic and societal trends, especially the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), will also be explored.

To help students better link theory and practice, specific stakeholders across the public, private and people sectors will be invited throughout the term to share the challenges they are facing. Students will then discuss and in some cases co-develop ideas and solutions with these stakeholders. Students will thus gain a deeper understanding of how theory and practice map to challenges and opportunities, how these might be similar and/or different in different urban systems and across different sectors, and what it means to create value for cities and citizens.

Class topics include the following:
– Smart Cities: What Problem Are We Really Solving
– Past, Present, and Future of Smart Cities
– Life in the Smart City
– Smart City and Technology: Adoption and Diffusion Challenges
– Arguing Against the Smart City
– Perspectives: Startup, SME, MNC, Government, Regional, and Global
– Societal Issues in the Smart City
– Future of Work and the 4IR
– How to Treat Your Technical Team with Respect
– Re-imagining and Re-visiting Smart Cities

By the end of the course, the students would have developed their own point of view of smart cities. This becomes a personal and professional resource for them as they embark on the next stage of their careers.