The Place of Local Government Law in the Urban Digital Age

Paper by Beatriz Botero Arcila: “A central theme of local government law scholarship is how local government law shapes urban policymaking. Local government law is the body of law that establishes the formal authority of cities and, as such, it creates the limited legal framework in which municipalities operate. Consequently, it shapes the potential economic development strategies of cities. In the digital economy, the rise of digital technology firms that provide urban services and services for city governments promises to entice local innovation and business opportunities and represent important economic development opportunities. Nevertheless, the implementation and deployment of these technologies in cities have also become regulatory challenges for cities and have raised important concerns about their potential to increase urban inequality and corporate power while entrenching surveillance in the city-fabric.

However, the literature that warns on these risks rarely addresses how the legal system and, in particular local government law, shapes the form of these technologies and creates incentives for local governments and the companies themselves to adopt, regulate and design these technologies in particular ways. This Essay presents an analysis of how local government law participates in shaping the present form of the urban digital information economy….(More)”.