Type, tweet, tap, and pass: How smart city technology is creating a transactional citizen

Paper by Peter A.Johnson, Pamela J.Robinson, andSimonePhilpot: “In the current push for smart city programs around the world, there is a significant focus on enabling transactions between citizen and government. Though traditionally there have always been transactional elements between government and citizen, for example payment of taxes in exchange for services, or voting in exchange for representation, the rise of modern smartphone and smart city technologies have further enabled micro-transactions between citizen, government, and information broker. We conceptualize how the modern smart city, as both envisaged and enacted, incorporates the citizen not necessarily as a whole actor, but as a series of micro-transactions encoded on the real-time landscape of the city. This transactional citizen becomes counted by smart city sensors and integrated into smart city decision-making through the use of certain preferred platforms.

To approach this shift from traditional forms of citizen/city interaction towards micro-transactions, we conceptualize four broad modes of transaction; type (intentional contribution), tweet (intermediated by third party), tap (convened or requested transaction), and pass (ambient transaction based on movement). These four modes are used to frame critical questions of how citizens interact with government in the emerging age of the smart city, and how these interactions impact the relationship between citizen and government, introducing new avenues for private sector influence….(More)”