A challenge for smart cities is to identify the impact of new standards and technologies and determine how 5G standards development creates (or constrains) opportunities for urban innovation.
McLuhan explains why the rise of urban middle classes are more effective to defeat dictatorships than embargos or weapons, why revolts come from cities, and why cities are are where social and political changes are baked. In this sense, cities are also liberating tools or, as McLuhan puts it “the work of cities is the translation of people to a more suitable form than of his ancestors “.
5G fervour is noticeably high and immersed in the conjecture that deployment of this technology will increase digital inclusion for people who currently lack access to broadband Internet services. However, the potential benefits of 5G to society at large — and how it might affect social inclusion — are more difficult to define.
Zaragoza is a city with a long tradition of citizen activism, governed by the left over 29 of the 37 years of Spanish democracy. This has left a deep footprint in the form of an intricate network of civic associations and community centers and has sculpted a “let’s just do it” culture when, mixed with a university population of 35,000 students, many of them pursuing technical degrees, forms a perfect broth for an open source model of a smart city.