Smart cities and neurodiversity: A discussion on the need for inclusive urban spaces for all

Authors

Keywords:

neurodiversity, smart cities, inclusive cities, social inclusion, inclusive urban spaces, sensory and cognitive barriers

Abstract

The growth of cities due to rising urban population has given rise to complex issues for authorities, including resource scarcity, mobility, environmental concerns, and social inclusion. In response to these challenges, smart cities have emerged as a solution. By utilizing information and communication technologies, smart cities aim to improve the quality of life for residents and promote sustainable development, although this technological advancement can also exacerbate existing inequalities. Therefore, social inclusion and equity are crucial considerations in the context of smart cities, and ensuring full accessibility and inclusivity for all individuals becomes a major challenge for urban areas. While academia has given considerable attention to studying the urban experiences of marginalized groups such as the disabled and immigrants, there is a lack of research and inclusive practices focusing on other forms of diversity, such as neurodivergent individuals. Neurodivergent people face sensory and cognitive barriers, which are often overlooked in academic studies and urban planning. Hence, this study sought to reflect on the inclusion of neurodiversity in smart cities, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing the needs of the most vulnerable members of society and enabling equal participation in urban opportunities.

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Published

2024-06-11