“Smart cities” grew out of the realization that North American models of suburban development and central business district decline needed to be challenged with new paradigms. This movement began in the 1990s with ideas centered on smart growth and new urbanism. While initially restricted to small, wealthy cities, the ideas that emerged during this period combined with a vertiginous growth in information technologies to create software-driven urban managerial tools for major cities. The increasing “technologization” of urban systems that automatically replicate spatial dynamics has been on the agenda of urban scholars for some time. However, the relatively new paradigms of “whole system” implementation in large urban centers has not been the subject of robust critical engagement. The aim of this paper is to examine critically the implementation and functioning of two “smart cities” systems in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as part of the city’s broader preparations for hosting the 2014 FIFAWorld Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.