(Un)Plugging Smart Cities with Urban Transformations

Calzada, Igor (2016) (Un)Plugging Smart Cities with Urban Transformations. REAL CORP 2016 – SMART ME UP! How to become and how to stay a Smart City, and does this improve quality of life? Proceedings of 21st International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society. pp. 15-27.

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In this paper, the author argues that the development of the so-called smart city concept and its use in planning inner cities are intimately bound up with required current urban transformations. In particular, regarding the notion of urban governance, which encompasses economic transformations, big data, social innovation and urban living labs as some timely key ingredients that should be addressed in contemporary cities (Urban Transformations ESRC portfolio, 2016). By contrast, it is noteworthy that although smart cities are already being built around us, they differ considerably from the simplistic‚ one-size-fits-all, smart-city-in-the-box mainstream approach (Townsend et al., 2011) that has been hegemonic so far. This idea mostly hearkens back to basic notions of deconstructing the governance interactions that actively require a holistic approach considering urban transformation trends occurring in our cities in a different manner. Based on a previously published Journal of Urban Technology paper entitled ‘Unplugging: Deconstructing the Smart City’, the authors argue that such reimagining and repositioning need to occur across smart city technologies by avoiding pragmatic approaches that wrongly are assumed to be non-ideological and commonsensical. Hence, the paper is structured in five sections. First, the concept of the smart city as both a buzzword and a fetish term will be presented. Second, the author shows how smart city policy agendas should be unpacked and plugged in again in a wider and inclusive perspective by suggesting the Unplugging framework, which consists of 10 transitions. Third, based on on-going, EU-funded smart city project’s interventions, the author underlines the importance of integrating urban transformations and research findings as a strategy that would enable more emancipatory and empowering visions of smart cities beyond simplistic market ambitions of companies or the control desires of states (Kitchin 2015: 30). Finally, five final remarks are presented as the future research agenda of (un)plugging smart cities with urban transformations: urban governance interdependencies, data to decide, metropolitan and regional scaling-up, city-to-city learning and comparing smartness (benchmarking, dashboards and rankings).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Smart Cities, Urban Transformation, Stakeholder's Interdependencies, Urban Governance, City-to-City Learning
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2016 15:31
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2016 15:31
URI: http://repository.corp.at/id/eprint/117

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