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Against the Romance of the Smart Community: The Case of Milano 4 You

The Right to the Smart City

ISBN: 978-1-78769-140-7, eISBN: 978-1-78769-139-1

Publication date: 7 June 2019


In this chapter, I unpack the idea of “smart community” conceived in relation to the first “smart district” in Italy, Milano 4 You, that will be realized in Segrate, one of the wealthiest municipalities of Italy located in the Milanese metropolitan area. Through the lenses of critical political economy, notably the work of Miranda Joseph and David Harvey, the chapter focuses on the economic rationality behind the “smart community,” that is, a community of production and consumption. In fact, the new residents are envisaged as self-entrepreneurs willing to re-appropriate their data and sell them for profit, while sharing a “smart” lifestyle. However, the chapter avoids a reductionist and negative reading, highlighting the potential for contestation and alternative rationalities to emerge.




The research for this chapter was funded by an ERC Advanced Investigator award, “The Programmable City” (ERC-2012-AdG 323636-SOFTCITY).


Di Feliciantonio, C. (2019), "Against the Romance of the Smart Community: The Case of Milano 4 You", Cardullo, P., Di Feliciantonio, C. and Kitchin, R. (Ed.) The Right to the Smart City, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 99-110.



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