This article provides empirical research about the perspectives of citizens of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on the emergent phenomenon of ‘smart urban safety’, which advocates advanced uses of digital technologies and data for urban safety management, and is gaining currency in thinking about urban futures. While smart cities affect many dimensions of city management, applications to safety management belong to the most controversial, revealing important tensions between disparate perspectives on technology and society in the context of urban living environments. Despite their influence, the concepts of smart cities and smart urban safety are largely unknown to the public. To gain insights into citizens’ perspectives, this study uses smart urban safety vignettes to which participants are invited to respond. Using discourse analytical techniques, their interpretations of safety in the smart city are described, which center on functional designs, express lacking influence over technological developments, and reflect on benefits and risks and on their civic roles vis-à-vis technologically mediated urban safety management. Our article concludes by arguing how these findings complement, but also show limitations to traditional technology acceptance models that are as of yet dominant in research of smart urban safety specifically, and smart cities more generally.

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Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Butot, V.M, Bayerl, P.S, Belschak-Jacobs, G, & de Haan, F. (2020). Citizen repertoires of smart urban safety. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 158(September 2020). doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120164