Smart citizen in a smart city: review of Russian and international approaches

Olga Vorobeva, Ekaterina Manzhula, Alina Yashina


The article analyses approaches to definitions and meanings of the terms “smart city” and “smart people/smart citizens”, provided by Russian and international academics and practitioners. The research revealed Russian authors’ approaches to be wider than international ones: while English-speaking papers consider smart citizens as having high educational level, Russians ascribe a large variety of contradictory features to hypothetic “smart” inhabitants, such as creative thinking or certain amount of children in their families. Also, three approaches of dealing with “smart people” were revealed: resource, object and subject ones. According to the analysis, the object approach dominates in Russia: the population is considered an object for benefactions “from above”, as well as an object for surveillance and control; also, citizens may be used as a resource of information or “suitable” individuals. At the same time, the degree of subject approach, where people have a right and opportunity to change their environment actively, is minimal. Nevertheless, recently Western discourse is changing technocentric approach for a human-oriented one, while in Russia this process has just started.

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