COVID-19 is having an enormous impact on civic life, including public services, governance, and the well-being of citizens. The pace and scope of technology as a force for problem solving, connecting people, sharing information, and organizing civic life has increased in the wake of COVID-19. This article critically reviews how technology use influences the civic engagement potential of the smart city, in particular for people with disabilities. The article aims to articulate new challenges to virtual participation in civic life in terms of accessibility, usability, and equity. Next, the article proposes a framework for a smart participation future involving smarter communities that utilize universal design, blended bottom-up, and virtual community of practice (VCoP) approaches to planning and connecting citizens with disabilities to smart cities. Policy and ethical implications of the proposed smart participation future are considered.
- Smart City
- Smart Community