Smart Cities, 4(3): Feature Papers for Smart Cities, pp 1158-1172
Against the widespread assumption that data are the oil of the 21st century, this article offers an alternative conceptual framework, interpretation, and pathway around data and smart city nex-us to subvert surveillance capitalism in light of emerging and further promising practical cases. This article illustrates an open debate in data governance and the data justice field related to cur-rent trends and challenges in smart cities, resulting in a new approach advocated for and recently coined by the UN-Habitat programme ‘People-Centred Smart Cities’. Particularly, this feature article sheds light on two intertwined notions that articulate the technopolitical dimension of the ‘People-Centred Smart Cities’ approach: data co-operatives and data sovereignty. Data co-operatives are emerging as a way to share and own data through peer-to-peer (p2p) reposito-ries and data sovereignty is being claimed as a digital right for communities/citizens. Conse-quently, this feature article aims to open up new research avenues around ‘People-Centred Smart Cities’ approach: First, it elucidates how data co-operatives through data sovereignty could be articulated as long as co-developed with communities connected to the long history and analysis of the various forms of co-operatives (technopolitical dimension). Second, it prospectively antici-pates the city–regional dimension encompassing data colonialism and data devolution.