After the smart city? The state of critical scholarship ten years on Session 2

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Digital Geographies Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM (MDT)
Room: Studio 5, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Fiona McDermott, Alan Wiig, Aoife Delaney
Chairs: Fiona McDermott


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 Aoife Delaney*, The Programmable City, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, (In)compatibility of emergency management services and smart discourses. 20 10:00 AM
Presenter Jathan Sadowski*, The University of Sydney, Actualizing the Smart City: Two Urban Developments in Sydney 20 10:20 AM
Presenter Anna Nikolaeva*, University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Rob Raven, Utrecht University, Marco te Brömmelstroet, Utrecht University, Mobility Politics of Smart Cycling Cities 20 10:40 AM
Presenter Paolo Cardullo*, , Rob Kitchin, Maynooth University of Ireland, Smart commons or a smart approach to the commons? 20 11:00 AM
Presenter Max Andrucki*, Temple University, Ryan Burns*, University of Calgary, Smart Cities: Who Cares? 20 11:20 AM

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