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Smart Cities: Delivering Urban Futures?

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


The interactions between people and places are always evolving and are often mediated by different technologies. Visions for Smart Cities currently dominate the discourse around urban futures, driven by a technocratic approach. What are Smart Cities and who are they for? Throughout the history of cities and urban development we have projected various futures for how we might want to live, work, play and share. When examining futures it is important to understand that they may be preferable for some people and not others, and in promoting certain types of future there is the flip side where other possible futures are hidden or discredited. In order to understand Smart Cites, we will develop a history of the future looking at the ideas and impact of visions made for them. We will examine who is promoting Smart Cities and explore their various advantages and disadvantages through a series of international case studies. We will also critically investigate how these apparently 'frictionless futures' are represented and how such methods of visualisation contributes to the ongoing utopian imaginary of such visions for urban futures. We will then discuss how we might create alternative urban futures for the benefit of people and planet.

External organisation (Academic)

NameLeeds Beckett University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom