Jathan Sadowski: Darwin’s ‘smart city’ project is about surveillance and control

Darwin City Council installed a network of hundreds of new devices across the centre of the city last year. This web of “smart” lights, environmental sensors and video cameras is designed to give the council more power to monitor and manage urban places – and the people who occupy them.

The council says the A$10 million “Switching on Darwin” project is “delivering smart technology to encourage innovative solutions and enhance community life”. We argue it is better seen as a project of surveillance and control, which is embedded in a long history of settler-colonial urbanism.

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