Smart, social & sustainable? : Norwegian smart cities; means for social sustainability or expressions of a techno-economic race?
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Smart city technology has finally reached our shores. This technology is rich in promises, and is professed to be an unprecedented technological tool in addressing sustainable development in cities. There are as many definitions of smart cities as there are attempts of it, and in being a pertinent tool to spatial planning, this technology represents a novel strategic direction in land use management. Spatial planning and strategy has become recognized as an instrumental activity for achieving and expressing sustainability, and sustainable development has been absorbed into the Norwegian regulatory framework for land use management. Some researchers claim however, that the economic and environmental dimension of sustainability has received more than its share, leaving social sustainability behind. This thesis investigates the theoretical background for visions of technology as instrumental for progress and modernization, smart city´s promises and potential as a spatial planning tool, and juxtapositions this with Norwegian cities´ operationalization of smart city technology as a means for social sustainability.