Unobtrusive, Seductive and Profound? The Silent Transformation of Mobility in the Region of Stuttgart

Heckel, Manuel (2016) Unobtrusive, Seductive and Profound? The Silent Transformation of Mobility in the Region of Stuttgart. 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. 759-767.

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Information and communication technologies are increasingly transforming our urban lives, giving rise to what is commonly referred to as the ‘smart city’. Understood as technologically enhanced urban services (i.e. metered, networked, monitored and computed, mostly and preferably in real-time), the ICT industry showcases a full range of perfectly integrated ‘smart city’ technologies in pilot projects around the world. While still focusing on the technological understanding of ‘smart’, this paper, however, explores the less advertised and seemingly more trivial transformations happening in our existing cities. By doing so, three aspects of the process of becoming ‘smart’ are identified, highlighted and exemplified by a case in Stuttgart, Germany. First, the sector and often company connected and incremental approach make it unobtrusive and hardly noticeable as an integrated ‘smart city’ concept. Second, democratic and public debate is absent, as the promised or envisioned results are on the one hand seductive and desired and consequently (rightly) assumed to be a priori supported by majorities and on the other hand often designed and implemented by the private sector. Third, although individual transformations may not seem radical, their combined implications and potential for urban governance and planning can be profound, especially in combination with the renewed idea of rational, non-ideological decision making through algorithmic data analysis. This paper describes these aspects on the basis of the case polygo in Stuttgart, a recent effort to further digitalise and network public transport and private e-mobility services, effectively and incrementally implementing a ‘smart mobility’ concept throughout the Region of Stuttgart.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Transformation of Mobility, Stuttgart, Smart City, polygo, Technophile
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2016 10:26
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2016 10:26

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