Planning Smart(er) Cities: The Promise of Civic Technology

Beverly K Wilson, Arnab Chakraborty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Civic technology is an emerging field that typically leverages open data—and sometimes open source software—to address challenges that may be invisible to or neglected by government in a collaborative, problem-centered way. This article describes the goals and values of civic technology, identifies its raw materials and products, and outlines its most visible modalities. We use key informant interviews with stakeholders in Chicago’s robust civic technology ecosystem and a brief discussion of the Array of Things (AoT) project to evaluate claims that civic technology can be an effective mechanism for democratizing the Smart City. We conclude with recommendations for urban planners interested in engaging with civic technology to enhance quality of life and further social equity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-51
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Urban Technology
Issue number4
Early online dateJul 3 2019
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019


  • civic hacking
  • Civic technology
  • Smart Cities
  • urban planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Planning Smart(er) Cities: The Promise of Civic Technology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this