A special report on the development of smart cities

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Deep Dive: Smart Cities

Special report: The human hurdles to smart cities

Collage of architectural photos
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

It turns out that one of the biggest hurdles to the dream of hyperconnected "smart cities" isn't technology — it's humans.

The big picture: Making cities smarter is more of a business model and governance challenge than a technological one.

Cities are the new data guzzlers

Collage of architectural photos
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

From getting a license to paying taxes, we routinely give cities granular data on who we are, where we live, what we do and how much we earn.

Why it matters: “City Hall has a treasure trove of information about you,” says Ann Cavoukian, a privacy expert at Ryerson University. “You have no choice but to give them information.”

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