Smart Cities Should Look ‘Smart’: Innovating Policy Towards More Liveable Telecommunications Infrastructure
This Major Paper presents research on the physical execution of the Smart City, ICT infrastructure implementation and the role of urban design policy, using the City of Toronto as a case study. The research is focused primarily on telecommunications infrastructure in the City of Toronto. My research concerns the question of whether ICT infrastructure will negatively affect the urban design of cities. A qualitative methodology approach is applied in this research, including a literature review, policy review, site observations and semi-structured interviews with professionals in the fields of urban design, urban planning, infrastructure planning and city planning. This Paper presents a scholarly evolution of the Smart City paradigm, defining the physical components of the Smart City in the urban context. This is followed by a policy review of the specific urban design policies which guide ICT infrastructure in the City of Toronto. The bulk of this paper consists of a case study and research findings from site observations and semistructured interviews. Three themes from the policy review are presented, which guide the interpretation and analysis of field observations. A major finding is that, although there is consensus on the importance of urban design standards in policymaking for Smart City infrastructure, the City of Toronto has not sufficiently considered the urban design implications of ICT infrastructure.