UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Contextualizing the Smart City in Africa: Balancing Human-Centered and Techno-Centric Perspectives for Smart Urban Performance Moumen, Nessrine; Radoine, Hassan; Nahiduzzaman, Kh Md; Jarar Oulidi, Hassane


The continuous growth of urban populations and the complexities of their current management in Africa have driven local governments to explore new technologies to optimize their urban and territorial performance. These governments and related stakeholders’ resort to the term “smart city” to orient the current urban planning policies and practices to be more efficient and adequate. Nevertheless, the issue that remains is how to contextualize this global term that has not yet been fully adopted by African cities that have claimed to be “Smart”. This contextualization becomes more complex in this critical context, where the city has not yet reached an ideal performance. Therefore, to reach this prospective African smart city, a critical review of how it would be both human-centered and techno-centered is imperative. This paper would review accordingly the above argument and set key performance indicator-based methodology on how to evaluate the smartness of a city in the African context.

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