Named the world’s “leading smart city,” Singapore has come to represent a future in which sensors, cameras, and other technologies are ubiquitous in mediating daily life. As excitement around smart cities grows around the world, this conversation will examine the treatment of low-income populations in Singapore to explore the dark side of these purported urban utopias. We will explore how, time and again, technologies are primarily deployed and tested first on populations living in poverty, at the margins of sanitized visions of the smart city. While reports of the surveillance of migrant workers by police robots in Singapore garnered international attention in 2020, this conversation will show that this is the tip of the iceberg. We will map how smart city infrastructure helps lay the foundations for an ever-growing constellation of data-collection technologies.


  • Dr. Monamie Bhadra Haines, Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Technical University of Denmark

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