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Occasional Talk with Anthony Levenda

Date: March 13, 2017

Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Venue: Coor 5536, Tempe Campus

Smart Grids in the City: Transitions, Experimentation, and Governance

In the face of challenges of energy security, decarbonization, resilience, and the replacement of aging infrastructure systems, federal, state, and local actors are facilitating the development of smart electricity networks to transition towards a more sustainable electricity system. In the United States, development of “smart grids” is being pursued as a national policy mandate and goal, promising that the deployment of smart grid technologies — referring in general to digital information and communication technologies that sense, monitor, control and manage the electric grid — will make electricity systems more environmentally sustainable and reliable, and at the same time, provide opportunities for growth and innovation. This talk examines and analyzes three interconnected issues relating to these sociotechnical changes in electricity infrastructure: the material and discursive construction of the smart grid, urban smart grid experimentation, and the mobility of smart grid models and knowledge. This talk argues for a synthesis between policy mobilities and sociotechnical transitions theory, highlighting through case studies, how urban smart grid experiments are influenced by experiences and knowledge generated from “vanguard” cities. The research finds that the creation of the smart grid is far from a purely technical infrastructural intervention, and instead, requires significant changes in the everyday social practices and conduct of energy consumers, while also reconfiguring the city, engaging in a material politics in order to govern energy transitions.


Pizza will be served. Please RSVP by Friday 3/10 to bit.ly/OccTalkLevenda


Dr. Anthony M. Levenda is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University. His research focuses on the politics and governance of smart cities and infrastructure systems. Anthony holds a PhD in Urban Studies from Portland State University and a MS in Environmental Engineering and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois.