As mentioned before, here are some brief notes on bottom line of the PhD project I am writing. It is a mix of ideas and feeling I am encountering throughout the process and not a formal review, indeed. Even though, I hope these paragraphs still make sense and gives you a clearer perception (or helps me make the project understandable at this stage). It´s been a silent work for months and now that I am beginning to see the light, I find myself more comfortable sharing how it is progressing, but not to a point I start sharing chapter drafts. In this sense, as these last weeks have meant a rush in the writing process, I find the text still too raw and I need to go into details to clear up the mess, but not enough mess not to share these schematic indications of how the text is moving forward.
Here is a brief list of books and articles I have been dealing with to complete the first stage of the PhD project on the technological imaginary in the discursive regime of the smart city. I am more than happy that these last few weeks have meant a substantial progress and the core framework is ready to go for deeper details. I will share here the basic structure I am working with, as an improved version of the six concepts underlying the smart cty discourse that served as a first step some months ago. Now this conceptual dissection is getting more solid with a better structured analysis on the implictions of this imaginary. In the meantime, this is a selected compilation of some of the readings that have been more helpful so far.
Of smart cities and (un)smart decisions – A tale of misplaced priorities - It has been more than a month since the Modi-led BJP government swept to power at the Center, primarily riding on the anti-incumbency wave against the UPA, and on the promise of good days ahead.
Having worked on Mumbai’s housing and urbanisation issues at the grassroot level, I'd like to highlight the misplaced priorities and the consequent policy contradictions in urban areas that have emerged in the new government’s short tenure until now. This article analyses our urban future given the current political climate in light of a few recent incidents in Mumbai. It is time for the State to rethink its priorities and goals for urban India. ...
Today, Ricarose Roque and I attended a panel on "Making Cultures" at CSCW, the ACM's conference on computer supported cooperative work. Here are our notes.
Daniela Rosner starts out by setting the scene: Over the past decade, thousands of programmers, designers, and engineers have gathered at hacker spaces, co-labs, and makerspaces to rethink and recreate technologies in collaboration. They share beliefs about what technology should be designed to do, discussing how information should be shared, and how to design the worlds we want. Researchers are now starting to study these movements, asking what these spaces look like, what ways do their practices changes across these sites, and what values connect them with the wider world.
Así que definitivamente, desde hace unos meses y posiblemente durante los próximos diez, una buena parte del tiempo irá dedicada a trabajar sobre Imaginarios tecnológicos en la ciudad conectada. Un título aún provisional, pero suficiente para centrar el tema.
This Tweet chat took place on the 27th June 2014, and followed on from an online onversation with Tobias Revell, Manu Fernández and Han Pham, moderated by Martin Brynskov. The full conversation is here: http://urbanixd.eu/conversation/
(2014). Smart cities as corporate storytelling. City: Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 307-320. doi: 10.1080/13604813.2014.906716
Manu Fernandez's insight:
On 4 November 2011, the trademark ‘smarter cities’ was officially registered as belonging to IBM. This was an important milestone in a struggle between IT companies over visibility and legitimacy in the smart city market. Drawing on actor-network theory and critical planning theory, the paper analyzes IBM's smarter city campaign and finds it to be storytelling, aimed at making the company an ‘obligatory passage point’ in the implementation of urban technologies. Our argument unfolds in three parts. We first trace the emergence of the term ‘smart city’ in the public sphere. Secondly, we show that IBM's influential story about smart cities is far from novel but rather mobilizes and revisits two long-standing tropes: systems thinking and utopianism. Finally, we conclude, first by addressing two critical questions raised by this discourse: technocratic reductionism and the introduction of new moral imperatives in urban management; and second, by calling for the crafting of alternative smart city stories.