Understanding the Role of Social, Technology, and Physical Infrastructures in Smart Communities: The Case of Rural Areas in the US

Date
2020-01-07
Authors
Yuan, Guangji
Gil-Garcia, J.
Sutherland-Mitzner, Megan K.
Gascó, Mila
Pardo, Theresa
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Smartness is a concept that frames a great variety of initiatives, particularly in the urban context. Smart cities are expected to be more resilient, more sustainable, and have highly engaged citizens, among many other expected outcomes. Given the focus on urban settings, many examples of smartness take for granted that the physical and technological infrastructures exist and are available to the majority of residents. For instance, Internet access, a reliable transportation system, or electrical power are rarely questioned or considered as a problem to be solved before becoming smart. In addition, formal education and technical skills are also expected as part of the social infrastructure of a city. However, when smartness goes beyond the urban settings, the availability and combination of these different infrastructures also differ. Based on a study of a rural community in the US, this paper begins to fill a gap in what is known about smartness in rural communities by analyzing how the physical, technology and social infrastructures in rural areas are different from urban settings, but still generate unique opportunities for building smart communities. Our results indicate that the unique conditions of rural communities create atypical strengths for becoming smarter.
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Smart and Connected Cities and Communities, digital divide, infrastructure, rural areas, smart city, smart community
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10 pages
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Proceedings of the 53rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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