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Private video monitoring of public spaces: The construction of new invisible territories


  • Rodrigo Firmino

    (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brazil)

  • Fabio Duarte

    (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brazil)


The idea of smart cities is to a great extent based on the belief of planners and city managers that substantial (and instrumental) use of information and communication technologies in the management of urban functions can make cities work better. This is also part of the coordinated discourse adopted by planners, managers and politicians around the world in an attempt to position their cities in the fierce competition for revenue, jobs and people. In this paper we will concentrate on gaining an understanding of informational territories built to support surveillance and control of public spaces. We seek to question this relation by making reference to several specific uses of information and communication technologies for surveillance purposes and to discuss it from the point of view of definitions of territory. Our goal is to discuss the fact that, under the ‘mantra’ of smarter cities and on the grounds of public security, there is a scattering of micro and macro informational territorial elements that overlap to undermine the meaningfulness of urban public spaces.

Suggested Citation

  • Rodrigo Firmino & Fabio Duarte, 2016. "Private video monitoring of public spaces: The construction of new invisible territories," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 53(4), pages 741-754, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:53:y:2016:i:4:p:741-754

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    Cited by:

    1. Batabyal, Amitrajeet A. & Beladi, Hamid, 2019. "The optimal provision of information and communication technologies in smart cities," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 216-220.


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