The digital transformation of metropolises · Issue Paper #08 · Metropolis Observatory

Date of publication
Luís M. A. Bettencourt
Gender equality
Metropolitan Governance
Social resilience
Smart city and technology
Type of resources
Issue Papers
The integration of a digital world in the urban landscape has changed how we interact with cities. Accessing a map to seek a location, looking at the quality of the air or searching for a shop, all these services can be accessed from anywhere with a smartphone.

Data is the unit that moves all systems and computers in the digital city, but its concerns about privacy and management have been rising in the past years. It's important to address them by tracking and enforcing the scope of data collection and then by controlling the uses and commercialization of it.

The digital gender gap is another big problem, being very wide in some regions that even got worse from 2013 to 2016, when the percentage of men minus women with access to the internet grew from 11 to 12%. In the least developed countries, this gap is even bigger with percentages around 31%. And it is noteworthy that in South Asia 26% of women are less likely to have access to a personal smartphone than men.

Luís M. A. Bettencourt, the author of the Issue Paper 8, explains the importance of data in the development of the digital landscape and cities. Bettencourt also recommends to policymakers some actions about the use of data in specific areas related to the governance of metropolises and to use it as a transparency tool for citizens.
EN595.46 KB
ES590.95 KB
FR588.1 KB