After the smart city? The state of critical scholarship ten years on Session 3

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Digital Geographies Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Studio 5, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Alan Wiig, Aoife Delaney, Fiona McDermott
Chairs: Alan Wiig


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 have critical investigations of the topic achieved and where do we go from here?


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Christian Eichenmüller*, , Negotiating smart urbanism in India: ‘smart cities’ and the production of legibility from without 20 1:20 PM
Presenter Rachel Berney*, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Urban Design & Planning, University of Washington, Seattle, Gundula Proksch, Associate Professor, Dept. of Architecture, University of Washington, Seattle, Bernease Herman, Data Scientist, eScience Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, Helping Cities to Be Smart about Equity: Introducing Predictive Models to Opportunity Mapping in Seattle, WA 20 1:40 PM
Presenter Sofia T. Shwayri*, University of California, Berkeley, Smart Seoul in the 21st Century: Managing the expectations of a digitally advanced citizenry 20 2:00 PM
Presenter Mário Vale*, Universidade de Lisboa, IGOT, Luis Carvalho, University of Porto & Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Re-situating open data in Lisbon in the hype of start-up urbanism 20 2:20 PM
Presenter Fiona McDermott*, Trinity College Dublin, Learning from the Smart Trash Can: Implications of the The Internet of Everyday Things 20 2:40 PM

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