The New City Regulators: Platform and Public Values in Smart and Sharing Cities

Paper by Sofia Ranchordás and Catalina Goanta: “Cities are increasingly influenced by novel and cosmopolitan values advanced by transnational technology providers and digital platforms. These values which are often visible in the advancement of the sharing economy and smart cities, may differ from the traditional public values protected by national and local laws and policies. This article contrasts the public values created by digital platforms in cities with the democratic and social national values that the platform society is leaving behind.

It innovates by showing how co-regulation can balance public values with platform values. In this article, we argue that despite the value-creation benefits produced by the digital platforms under analysis, public authorities should be aware of the risks of technocratic discourses and potential conflicts between platform and local values. In this context, we suggest a normative framework which enhances the need for a new kind of knowledge-service creation in the form of local public-interest technology. Moreover, our framework proposes a negotiated contractual system that seeks to balance platform values with public values in an attempt to address the digital enforcement problem driven by the functional sovereignty role of platforms….(More)”.