Abstracts should be sent to Michaela Jahrbacher (email@example.com )
until *January 15**, 2015* as a *DOC/DOCX-file*.
More information about the conference:
*SESSION 17: DE-CONSTRUCTING THE SMART CITY, REASSEMBLING URBAN LIFE*
*Michela Cozza, Giusi Orabona, Giacomo Poderi, Maurizio Teli*, Department
of Information Engineering and Computer Sciences (DISI), University of
Since nearly a decade, the idea of a ³Smart City² strongly emerged and rapidly spread in urban planning, political discourse and academia in
general. As any successful term, its widespread adoption has attributed it many meanings, almost overlapping with the idea of having digital
technologies distributed in the urban environment. On the one hand, such distribution seems to favour the city management related to the transit, traffic and provision of localized services. On the other hand, it could be interpreted as a program of control of the population by the big corporations of the ICT domain (Greenfield 2013).
Nevertheless, we are already witnessing tentative appropriations and applications of the ³Smart City² ideal into several specific domains which
concern urban life: from transportation to welfare services, from active ageing to energy management. As already noted in one of the first and
pivotal works on Smart Cities (Hollands, 2008), this concept is usually vaguely defined, biased towards the ICT dimension of urban developments, and often portrayed with enthusiastic, uncritical and entrepreneurial rhetoric. In summary, the concept of ³Smart City² hides urban life behind the (often physical) screens of technological efficiency and monitorin social practices.
As described, the picture of the ³Smart City² is signed by technological determinism, an ideological commitment privileging the private sector,
social polarization as an inevitable by-product, missing concerns with class inequality, inclusion and social justice, and the almost clear
neo-liberal attempt to incorporate local communities into the entrepreneurial discourse. Such discourse needs to be de-constructed and
re-assembled in order to leave space for a more socially aware, distributed effort, that is actually empowering people more than the powerful actor at the political and economic level.
Therefore, we welcome contributions that critically examines the concept of a ³Smart City² at one or both of the two following levels. At the theoretical level, where the different dimensions and elements of ³Smart City² such as ICT, urban planning, societal challenges, are defined,
analysed and discussed in relationship to state-of-the-art developments and their respective domains of application (e.g. energy, mobility). At the empirical and practical level, where the actual efforts of designing, implementing and deploying plans for smart cities are critically
described, reviewed or assessed. In particular, we welcome contributions able to point at how the ³Smart City² can be de-constructed and re-assembled in a more democratic way, supporting urban life instead of neo-liberal narratives.
Ultimately, we welcome contributions that look at the ³Smart City² from the viewpoints both of the citizens and professionals: reflections that
discuss how citizens¹ identity and professional practices take part in the construction of the idea of ³smartness² are appreciated.
EASA Media Anthropology Network
For further information please contact:
Dr. John Postill
RMIT University, Melbourne
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