Gendering the Smart City 2: Between Top-down and Ground-up World-making

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Digital Geographies Specialty Group, Urban Geography Specialty Group, Socialist and Critical Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Washington 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Organizers: Ryan Burns, Nabeela Ahmed, Ayona Datta
Chairs: Ryan Burns


The critical smart cities research agenda continues to develop insights into evolving relations between the digital, the urban, and socio-political process. Attention has broadened from taxonomies and ontological questions, to ideal-types and dominant epistemologies, to interrogating the “actually-existing smart city”. This trajectory has brought to the fore variegations and fissures in the politics of the smart city within which elements of social justice can appear, where smart city visions can adapt to and address low-tech infrastructures and where populations can contest the smart city’s often business-friendly, empiricist, governmentalizing, and neoliberal tendencies. Researchers have, indeed, recently illuminated smart city models that might contain necessary conditions for making strides toward more just, accessible and participatory urban life. However, in all this literature, researchers have neglected the underlying gendered dynamics of these processes.

Feminist and queer theory can provide productive new ways forward in critiquing smart cities agendas globally. Such theoretical frameworks can illuminate how bodies, subjectivities, labour, aspirations, anxieties, temporalities, in/visibilities, and social time are colonized and silenced in smart cities. From critical GIS to critical data studies, to digital geographies and through creative digital practices, researchers have leveraged these frameworks to show the uneven and gendered impacts that digital technologies have across a range of metrics of difference. Applying these frameworks to smart cities can illuminate the ways new forms of technological urbanism subtend socio-political inequalities, epistemological legitimacies, and sustained social injustices. Even further, doing so may deepen our understandings of how gender, sexuality, race, class and geopolitical power frame the imagination and governance of smart urban futures.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Max Andrucki*, Temple University, Gay Men as Infrastructure 15 1:10 PM
Presenter Lukas Stevens*, McGill University, The End of Location Theory? Some Implications of Micro-work, Work Trajectories and Gig-Work for Conceptualizing the Urban Space Economy 15 1:25 PM
Presenter Harris Breslow*, American University of Sharjah, Byron Miller, University of Calgary, The Smart City, Heterotopic Spaces and the Politics of Urban Informality 15 1:40 PM
Presenter Teresa Abbruzzese*, York University, Brandon Hillier*, York University, 'More than Borrowing': Libraries Enabling Inclusion in the Smart City 15 1:55 PM
Discussant Nabeela Ahmed King's College London 20 2:10 PM

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