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There is much at stake with the smart city. This urban governance movement is predicated on infusing information-and-communication technology into nearly all aspects of the built environment, while at the same time transforming how cities are planned and managed. The smart city movement is global in scale with initiatives being rolled out all over the planet, driven by proponents with deep pockets of wealth and influence, and a lucrative opportunity with market projections in the billions or trillions of dollars (over the next five to ten years). However, the smart city label can be nebulous and amorphous, seemingly subsuming unrelated technologies, practices, and policies as necessary. Yet, even with this ambiguity, or perhaps because of it, the smart city vision is still able to colonize urban landscapes and capture the political imaginations of decision makers. In order to know just what the smart city entails I work to bring analytic clarity to the actions, visions, and values of this movement.
The arc of this project, in short, moves from diving into the "smart city" discourses; to picking apart the ideologies at its heart; to engaging with the dual logics—control and accumulation—that drive the smart city; and finally to imagining what an alternative techno-politics might look like and how we might achieve it. My goal is that by analyzing the techno-politics of the smart city we will be better equipped to understand these urban transformations—what logics drive them, what they herald, and what our role should be in how they develop.
Jathan Sadowski, PhD Candidate in Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology
Title - Selling Smartness: Visions and Politics of the Smart City
July 6, 2016
Tempe Campus, INTDS-B 280