From Smart Cities to Wise Cities: Studying Abroad in Digital Urban Space


  • Lindsay Weinberg Purdue University



Experiential learning, study abroad, place-based learning, intercultural learning, smart cities


This article analyzes the impact of experiential and inquiry-based learning exercises in a 2019 Toronto study abroad course on smart cities for first-year students. The course treated the city as a text to be read, analyzed, and unpacked. Students engaged with the disciplines of urban studies, critical race and ethnic studies, and surveillance studies in order to assess Toronto's smart city initiative while exploring firsthand how technology and urban planning currently structure the lived experiences of Toronto's inhabitants. Ultimately, students came to understand how data analytics order, pattern, and structure the complexity of urban life in ways that can be inclusionary and exclusionary, democratic and autocratic. They gained an appreciation for why a range of stakeholders with disparate social and economic power perceive smart city initiatives differently, and they theorized what it might mean to live in a wise city that accounts for history, ethics, and power.


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Author Biography

Lindsay Weinberg, Purdue University

Lindsay Weinberg is a clinical assistant professor in the Honors College at Purdue University. Her research and teaching are at the intersection of science and technology studies, media studies, and feminist studies, with an emphasis on the social and ethical impacts of digital technology. She received her PhD from the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her work has appeared in Lateral, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, and Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience.


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How to Cite

Weinberg, L. (2022). From Smart Cities to Wise Cities: Studying Abroad in Digital Urban Space. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 34(2), 11–26.