A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF TECHNOLOGY VIEW FOR UNDERSTANDING THE DELIVERY OF CITY-SCALE DIGITAL TWINS
Keywords: city-scale digital twins, social construction, technology, co-development, constructivist
Abstract. This paper presents a novel conceptualisation for how city-scale digital twins (CDTs) can be better understood through the social construction of technology (SCOT) lens. This is achieved by drawing inspiration from sociotechnical studies of CDTs, and specifically the SCOT approach. Following a discussion of the shortcomings of technocentrism and techno-optimism bias in the CDT literature, a sociotechnical understanding of their delivery (i.e., conceptualisation, design, development, and implementation) is put forward. Delivering CDTs entails interactions between multiple stakeholders across sectoral boundaries and involve a confluence of business, social and technological dimensions which will engender several multifaceted and evolving complexities. Using the SCOT approach, the paper highlights how a CDT is not a static technical artefact, but rather a transient outcome from a technological network which co-evolves with the actors involved and the goals set in a place. Implications for understanding how an iterative approach for CDT development emerges in a place as part of city smartification agenda, the role of contextual factors in the social shaping of CDTs, actor participation and (ex/in)clusion are identified and discussed as potential future research directions to expand existing knowledge.