A case study of smart city Búzios, Brazil
Keywords:smart city, internet of things, smart grid, Búzios
The concept of the smart city is emerging as a topic of interest. Since the implementation of technology in urban space it is becoming the present reality in many cities globally. This study investigates how the smart city project, known as The Smart City Búzios, in Brazil affects everyday life in terms of habits in, and relationships with, urban public spaces. The Smart City Búzios project involves the implementation of a smart grid infrastructure which purports to achieve energy efficiency for the city. The study also explores the different ‘smart’ mechanisms used in this city, and attempts to understand the process of implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructures. This exploration includes the identification of both the groups of actors who were involved in the project, and the societal groups who benefited from it. To do this, a case study approach has been applied to investigate how the technological platforms that are used in the Smart City Búzios project could be considered as a process of ‘smartness’, and consider if these tools have the potential to change the urban sector. The analysis searches traits of changes in the living spaces and in the lifestyles with the inception of new technologies. The focus is on the project’s results since its implementation, explaining how these results are articulated in relation to the urban image portrayed in the project’s marketing strategies, based on extracts of media news and interviews. The analyses showed that that the strategies of marketing surrounding the project played a key role in the consolidation process. This study thus holds that urban intelligence must simultaneously be a process and a purpose, and that organizations from the public, private and voluntary sectors that are directly affected by the project should be partnered with and brought into inclusive processes of dialogues.