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Parks and Open Spaces: Challenges and Opportunities of Smart Technologies

Authors: Danielle Lenarcic Biss, Pamela Robinson

This research brief explores the implications of deploying new technologies into public spaces. The public sphere shapes the urban experience and is a major area of discussion as communities balance the need to provide ample space for the public, as well as drive land use intensification. The COVID-19 pandemic has also demonstrated the importance of shared public spaces. As cities explore digital placemaking, public Wi-Fi, and install sensors in streets and plazas, it is necessary to examine the risks and opportunities of these technology options.

This report is part of a series of research briefs commissioned by Open North for the Community Solutions Network to provide insight into how data and technology intersect with challenges local communities are grappling with. The issue briefings identify complex policy issues from an open smart city lens, describe their importance and provide key considerations for policymakers and practitioners.


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