This article focuses on the smart city as a political place. It analyses how both the technologies and the ideas smart cities are built on, oust trust and the rule of law as two important conditions for the city as a thriving political community. In particular, three challenges to the city as a political place are identified: desubjectivation, invisibility, and a neo-liberal value shift. [---] This article concludes that the current focus on participation and citizen-centric smart city projects is not sufficient to build and contribute to a genuine political community and that a re-evaluation of active citizenship in the smart city context is therefore needed.