After the smart city? The state of critical scholarship ten years on 1

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Digital Geographies Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Studio 5, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Aoife Delaney, Alan Wiig, Fiona McDermott
Chairs: Aoife Delaney


Today, the smart city imaginary is a recurring theme within critical urban geography and implies a particular set of rationalities. While it tends to centre upon digital technologies as a means to solve complex urban problems, it is also an entrepreneurial branding and boosting technique for cities. The implementation of smart city strategies transforms how cities operate and has resulted in an array of well-documented critiques around control, privacy, and technological determinist or solutionist visions of the urban. Furthermore, these data and software-driven solutions are often instrumental: merely treating symptoms, while failing to address the underlying problem. This has led to the idea that smart technologies are a solution looking for a problem.
This session seeks papers that explore approaches, policies and practices that actively invoke and negotiate these issues, while also situating the smart city within wider, ongoing debates in and beyond urban geography. Thus, this session is not prescriptive and welcomes scholars interested in the smart city, data and digital transformations, digital infrastructure, technocratic and algorithmic governance, and the political economy of cities. In particular, we are interested in thinking through the ‘place’ of smart cities today: what has critical investigations of the topic achieved and where do we go from here?
Areas of potential interest for research papers may include, but are not limited to:
The nexus between governance, policy, technological innovation and power;
How smart city initiatives are placed upon existing urban infrastructure and service provisions and the resulting consequences.
The role of the smart citizen.
The splintering effects of digital technologies.
The effects of technologies on everyday processes and environments.
Urban entrepreneurialism and the Smart City.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Anthony M Levenda, University of Calgary, Dillon Mahmoudi*, University of Maryland - Baltimore County, Locating Digital Capital: The Urban Frontier 20 8:00 AM
Presenter Jun Wang*, City University of Hong Kong, Ugo Rossi, University of Turin, The entrepreneurialization of city life: realities, potentials, ambivalences 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Casey Lynch*, University of Arizona - Geography & Development, Technological Sovereignty and the Political Possibilities of Assemblage Urbanism 20 8:40 AM
Presenter Will Payne*, University of California - Berkeley, Indexing the Urban: Location-Based Services as Smart City Platforms 20 9:00 AM
Presenter Gernot Grabher*, HCU Hamburg, Smart Cities, Stupid Outcomes? Ambiguities of Smart City Policies 20 9:20 AM

To access contact information login