Over the past decade, the vision of smart cities filled with technological innovation and digitally engaged citizens has been pursued around the globe, but not all city residents have a chance to participate in or benefit from these innovations. Connectivity is unequally distributed across cities and neighborhoods, and these disparities have costs not only for individuals, but for communities, as COVID-19 so aptly demonstrated. There is a need to examine uses and outcomes for broadband across cities and neighborhoods as digital human capital in communities. Two studies summarized here show that like other human capital, technology use conveys economic benefits for communities. Broadband adoption over time is related to prosperity and growth in the 50 largest metros. Big data on the density of domain name websites shows that this measure of technology use is likewise a significant predictor of prosperity and median income, controlling for other factors. We conclude with a research agenda on digital human capital and community outcomes.
- Digital divide
- Economic development
- Human capital
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Urban Studies
- Computer Science Applications