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Digital diversity and an inclusive smart society
This text problematizes the expectation that smart cities can provide services of unparallel quality to all citizens. The text implies that digital inclusion is a requirement for the achievement of smart cities and sustainable development, which is a goal for the Swedish government but also for international organizations such as the UN. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals digital inclusion is needed. Even in Sweden, a leading country in digitalization, there is digital exclusion. In areas with residents considered "hard to survey" research indicates that citizens are excluded from digital services. However, digital exclusion is not about being in or out, a person might be active in one digital area but still excluded from the digital welfare state. Therefore, we argue for the need of mapping "digital diversity" among all people, when it comes to digital competence and use of digital services. We present a method for research on digital inclusion which aims at comprehending the views, experiences and opinions among people considered "hard to survey". Digital exclusion can lead to exclusion from benefitting and contribution to the welfare state, but also to questions about state legitimacy. Thus, in a time of digitalization, smart cities and smart public sectors the need of mapping and understanding digital diversity and digital exclusion becomes necessary.