This paper explores the emerging and evolving landscape for metrics in smart cities in relation to big data challenges. Based on a review of the research literature, the problem of “synthetic quantitative indicators” along with concerns for “measuring urban realities” and “making metrics meaningful” are identified. In response, the purpose of this paper is to advance the need for innovating metrics for smarter, more interactive and responsive cities in addressing and mitigating algorithmic-related challenges on the one hand, and concerns associated with involving people more meaningfully on the other hand. As such, the constructs of awareness, learning, openness, and engagement are employed in this study. Using an exploratory case study approach, the research design for this work includes the use of multiple methods of data collection including survey and interviews. Employing a combination of content analysis for qualitative data and descriptive statistics for quantitative data, the main findings of this work support the need for rethinking and innovating metrics. As such, the main conclusion of this paper highlights the potential for developing new pathways and spaces for involving people more directly, knowingly, and meaningfully in addressing big and small data challenges for the innovating of urban metrics.
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