Hacking the Life Course: Ageing In the Smart-City

Hacking the Life Course: Ageing In the Smart-City

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This proposal explores the governance challenges and opportunities posed to cities in face of the technological and longevity revolutions. The overall research question is as follows: “Will the Smart-City care about an aged society?” The focus is the influence of the demographic change and the emergence of open-ended forms of governance in the making of cities. The most recent United Nations’ projections are categorical: over the next decades, virtually every country in the world will experience growth in the number and share of older persons. This is an unprecedented and enduring transformation with pervasive and profound implications for many aspects of human life, including living arrangements and family dynamics. In the face of an unprecedented global growth of the older population, technology is often regarded as the silver bullet that will save societies from the “old-age tsunami”. For the public sector, the use of technology can be the only possible alternative for an increasing demand for social services. The industry is reacting accordingly, exploring the business opportunities opened by the growing “silver market”. This perspective plays a dominant role in the interface between technology developers, industry, and the public sector. However, under this framework, important societal changes related to the demographic change and technology are frequently overlooked. Open-ended forms of governance, that encompass peer-to peer (P2P) technologies, open data, and ICT-enabled co-creative forms of policy and service design, offer great opportunities to building new governance platforms for smart cities that integrate technological and social processes. In other to illuminate the overall research question I also ask: How open-ended forms of e-governance can better contribute to local communities’ participation and a new culture of care?; How are the technological and longevity revolutions changing the meaning of quality of life and ageing in place?

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Gustavo Toshiaki Lopes Sugahara


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Gustavo Sugahara


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Preferred Track

6. Urban policies

Second Preferred Track

7. Urban competitiveness and social challenges