Abstract : Technological progress in recent years have allowed to produce sensors, on macroscopic and microscopic scales, that are now essential to ubiquitous computing. This paradigm has made the concept of smart cities a reality that is now in synchrony with the needs and requirements for living in this era. Whether it concerns commuters in public transportations or users of existential services such as hospitals, the implementation of smart cities is equally important in developed countries than in the least developed countries. Unfortunately, in the latter, sensors and the associated technologies are not readily available to implement smart cities. It is therefore necessary to identify surrogate ways of sensing the ambiant environment. In this position paper, we discuss the situations in least developed countries and the obstacles to common implementations of smart cities. We also provide a preliminary enumeration of how mobile-phones with SMS-based services and the cultural model can be leveraged to build smart cities in such urban technological deserts.