Toronto Metropolitan University
NICHOLSON, Sally.pdf (1.65 MB)

Controlled spaces: exploring the integration of smart surveillance technologies in Toronto's privately owned publicly accessible spaces

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posted on 2023-09-13, 16:42 authored by Sally Nicholson

Smart technologies are enabling the collection of fine grain data that offer valuable insights to the enhancement of cities. However, these technologies also enable constant and invasive surveillance of individuals in public spaces, and data collected from smart surveillance can be used to control who and how a space is used. This becomes more complex in privately owned publicly accessible spaces (POPS), as these spaces are managed to serve interests defined by private entities rather than by the public. This paper examines how the cities of Amsterdam, Barcelona, New York, Portland and Toronto are managing the use of smart technologies in POPS. The analysis reveals privacy is an increasing concern, and while cities are regulating their own use of smart technologies few are addressing private sector use. Recommendations to the City of Toronto and urban planners are highlighted, along with suggestions for future research.

Key words: Public Space, privately owned publicly accessible space, surveillance, smart

technology, smart city





  • Master of Planning


  • Urban Development

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

Pamela Robinson