Smart Cities and the conceited side of prosperity failing to connect

To the Smart City Concept – There’s nothing new under than sun. What are we willing to exchange for peace of mind, community and true prosperity?

It’s more than nostalgia, it’s about family and community bonds.

As a migrant Greek/Macedonian child growing up in the Perth suburbs, I could count eight homes we could walk to in less than ten minutes that were relatives, four homes on the same street. Fifty years later and I built on that same street with all the other relatives deceased or they moved away from my street to new communities.

There was a simplicity to our lives and that feeling of belonging in a foreign land was nothing more than staying connected with our roots while we figured out our new paths in this new country, Australia.

With the rise of opportunity, technology, education and the convenience of social media, you’d think we’d be even closer as a community? Unfortunately all these dynamics that are to make life easier also erode that quality that creates fiber in relationships called hardship.

Hardship is that quality that waits things out, that talks things through, that gives for the greater good of the community.

I grew up in a home so small that my parents couldn’t hide their arguments, they had to work stuff out and we all knew when things were sorted. Being poor made you appreciate the simple things and definitely made people like my mother creative and frugal, no one in my family went without.

It was a time when once a week fish and chips on a Friday night was to die for and sitting around the table for Sunday lunch connected the most dysfunctional family.

I remember a fellow Greek wealthy man asking me what suburb I lived in and when he heard my reply he had that look of pity. He in his hubris moment actually said these words to me “We need to look for a way to get you out of there” thinking he was wanting to make my life richer.

I can’t help but pity such arrogance, he has no idea how wealthy I am.

It’s more than nostalgia, it’s about family and community bonds.

The Smart City Concept must bring families and community together, otherwise we’ve failed no matter how impressive our cities appear to be.

5 thoughts on “Smart Cities and the conceited side of prosperity failing to connect”

  1. Thanks Tom for this article. It is the first one I read that gives such an deep insight about smart cities. As you say, smart city juste gets people to disconnect from each other. That’s why we may need to refund this smart city concept and make it less data-driven and more human-driven 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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