New book: Creating Smart Cities

csc coverCreating Smart Cities, edited by Claudio Coletta, Leighton Evans, Liam Heaphy, Rob Kitchin, has been published by Routledge in their Regional Studies Association ‘Region and Cities’ series. It contains a selection of chapters originating from our third Progcity workshop.

Description
In cities around the world, digital technologies are utilized to manage city services and infrastructures, to govern urban life, to solve urban issues and to drive local and regional economies. While “smart city” advocates are keen to promote the benefits of smart urbanism – increased efficiency, sustainability, resilience, competitiveness, safety and security – critics point to the negative effects, such as the production of technocratic governance, the corporatization of urban services, technological lock-ins, privacy harms and vulnerability to cyberattack.

This book, through a range of international case studies, suggests social, political and practical interventions that would enable more equitable and just smart cities, reaping the benefits of smart city initiatives while minimizing some of their perils.

Included are case studies from Ireland, the United States of America, Colombia, the Netherlands, Singapore, India and the United Kingdom. These chapters discuss a range of issues including political economy, citizenship, standards, testbedding, urban regeneration, ethics, surveillance, privacy and cybersecurity.

Contents

1. Creating smart cities – Rob Kitchin, Claudio Coletta, Leighton Evans and Liam Heaphy

PART I The political economy of smart cities

2. A Digital Deal for the smart city: Participation, protection, progress – Jathan Sadowski

3. Politicising smart city standards – James Merricks White

4. Urban revitalization through automated policing and “smart” surveillance in Camden, New Jersey – Alan Wiig

5. Can urban “miracles” be engineered in laboratories? Turning Medellín into a model city for the Global South – Félix Talvard

6. Building smart city partnerships in the “Silicon Docks” – Liam Heaphy and Réka Pétercsák

7. Towards a study of city experiments – Brice Laurent and David Pontille

8. University campuses as testbeds of smart urban innovation – Andrew Karvonen, Chris Martin and James Evans

PART II Smart cities, citizenship and ethics

9. Who are the end-use(r)s of smart cities? A synthesis of conversations in Amsterdam – Christine Richter, Linnet Taylor, Shazade Jameson and Carmen Pérez del Pulgar

10. ‘Cityzens become netizens’: Hashtag citizenships in the making of India’s 100 smart cities – Ayona Datta

11. From smart cities to smart citizens? Searching for the ‘actually existing smart citizen’ in Atlanta, Georgia – Taylor Shelton and Thomas Lodato

12. Promises, practices and problems of collaborative infrastructuring: The case of Dublin City Council (DCC) Beta and Code for Ireland – Sung-Yueh Perng

13. Smart for a reason: Sustainability and social inclusion in the sharing city – Duncan McLaren and Julian Agyeman

14. Pseudonymisation and the smart city: Considering the General Data Protection Regulation – Maria Helen Murphy

15. The privacy parenthesis: Private and public spheres, smart cities and big data – Leighton Evans

16. The challenges of cybersecurity for smart cities – Martin Dodge and Rob Kitchin

PART III Conclusion

17. Reframing, reimagining and remaking smart cities – Rob Kitchin

New book: Digital Geographies

digital geographies book coverDigital Geographies, edited by James Ash, Rob Kitchin and Agnieszka Leszczynski, has been published by Sage.  The book provides an overview of how digital technologies have become part of everyday life, mediating tasks such as work, travel, consumption, production, and leisure, and are having increasingly profound effects on phenomena that are of immediate concern to geographers. These include: the production of space, spatiality and mobilities; the processes, practices, and forms of mapping; the contours of spatial knowledge and imaginaries; and, the formation and enactment of spatial knowledge politics  Similarly, there are distinct geographies of digital media such as those of the internet, games, and social media that have become indispensable to geographic practice and scholarship across sub-disciplines, regardless of conceptual approach. The book is divided into five sections.

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introducing Digital Geographies – James Ash, Rob Kitchin and Agnieszka Leszczynski

PART 1 Digital Spaces
Chapter 2 Spatialities – Agnieszka Leszczynski
Chapter 3 Urban – Andres Luque-Ayala
Chapter 4 Rural – Martin Dodge
Chapter 5 Mapping – Matthew W Wilson
Chapter 6 Mobilities – Tim Schwanen

PART 2 Digital Methods
Chapter 7 Epistemologies – Jim Thatcher
Chapter 8 Data and Data Infrastructures – Rob Kitchin and Tracey Lauriault
Chapter 9 Qualitative Methods and Geohumanities – Meghan Cope
Chapter 10 Participatory Methods and Citizen Science – Hilary Geoghegan
Chapter 11 Cartography and Geographic Information Systems – David O’Sullivan
Chapter 12 Statistics, Modelling and Data Science – Daniel Arribas-Bel

PART 3 Digital Cultures
Chapter 13 Media and Popular Culture – James Ash
Chapter 14 Subject/ivities – Sam Kinsley
Chapter 15 Representation and Mediation – Gillian Rose

PART 4 Digtial Economies
Chapter 16 Labour – Mark Graham and Mohammad Anwar
Chapter 17 Industries – Matt Zook
Chapter 18 Sharing Economy – Lizzie Richardson
Chapter 19 Traditional Industries – Bruno Moriset

PART 5 Digital Politics
Chapter 20 Development – Dorothea Kleine
Chapter 21 Governance – Rob Kitchin
Chapter 22 Civics – Taylor Shelton
Chapter 23 Ethics – Linnet Taylor
Chapter 24 Knowledge Politics – Jason C Young
Chapter 25 Geopolitics – Jeremy Crampton

New paper published “Smart urbanism and smart citizenship”

Paolo Cardullo and Rob Kitchin have published a new paper in Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. “Smart urbanism and smart citizenship: The neoliberal logic of ‘citizen-focused’ smart cities in Europe” https://doi.org/10.1177/0263774X18806508

Abstract
This paper examines the neoliberal ideals that underpin participation and citizenship in the smart city and their replication mechanisms at the European level, particularly focusing on the work of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities. The research consisted of three levels of data generation and analysis: a discourse analysis of policy documents and project descriptions of the 61 Commitments in the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities ‘citizen-focus’ cluster; interviews with a dozen stakeholders working on citizen engagement in a small sample of European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities flagship projects; and twenty interviews with city officers and corporate exhibitors at the 2017 Smart City Expo and World Congress. We contend that smart cities as currently conceived enact a blueprint of neoliberal urbanism and promote a form of neoliberal citizenship. Supra-national institutions like the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities act at a multi-scalar level, connecting diverse forms of neoliberal urbanism whilst promoting policy agendas and projects that perform neoliberal citizenship in the spaces of the everyday. Despite attempts to recast the smart city as ‘citizen-focused’, smart urbanism remains rooted in pragmatic, instrumental and paternalistic discourses and practices rather than those of social rights, political citizenship, and the common good. In our view, if smart cities are to become truly ‘citizen-focused’, an alternative conception of smart citizenship needs to be deployed, one that enables an effective shift of power and is rooted in the right to the city, entitlements, community, participation, commons, and ideals beyond the market.

New paper: Towards a genuinely humanizing smart urbanism

Rob Kitchin has published a new Programmable City working paper (No. 43) via OSF: Towards a genuinely humanizing smart urbanism. The paper is a modified, pre-print version of the closing chapter in the book ‘The Right to the Smart City’ edited by Paolo Cardullo, Cesare Di Feliciantonio and Rob Kitchin to be published by Emerald Publishing.

Abstract

This paper considers, following David Harvey (1973), how to produce a genuinely humanizing smart urbanism. It does so through utilising a future-orientated lens to sketch out the kinds of work required to reimagine, reframe and remake smart cities. I argue that, on the one hand, there is a need to produce an alternative ‘future present’ that shifts the anticipatory logics of smart cities to that of addressing persistent inequalities, prejudice, and discrimination, and is rooted in notions of fairness, equity, ethics and democracy. On the other hand, there is a need to disrupt the ‘present future’ of neoliberal smart urbanism, moving beyond minimal politics to enact sustained strategic, public-led interventions designed to create more-inclusive smart city initiatives. Both tactics require producing a deeply normative vision for smart cities that is rooted in ideas of citizenship, social justice, the public good, and the right to the city that needs to be developed in conjunction with citizens.
Keywords: smart cities, citizenship, social justice, right to the city, future

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New paper: Citizenship, Justice and the Right to the Smart City

Rob Kitchin, Paolo Cardullo and Cesare Di Feliciantonio have published a new Programmable City working paper (No. 41) via OSF: Citizenship, Justice and the Right to the Smart City. The paper is a modified, pre-print version of the opening chapter in the book ‘The Right to the Smart City’ edited by Paolo Cardullo, Cesare Di Feliciantonio and Rob Kitchin to be published by Emerald Publishing.

Abstract
This paper provides an introduction to the smart city and engages with its idea and ideals from a critical social science perspective. After setting out in brief the emergence of smart cities and current key debates, we note a number of practical, political and normative questions relating to citizenship, social justice, and the public good that warrant examination. The remainder of the paper provides an initial framing for engaging with these questions. The first section details the dominant neoliberal conception and enactment of smart cities and how this works to promote the interests of capital and state power and reshape governmentality. We then detail some of the ethical issues associated with smart city technologies and initiatives. Having set out some of the more troubling aspects of how social relations are produced within smart cities, we then examine how citizens and citizenship have been conceived and operationalised in the smart city to date. We then follow this with a discussion of social justice and the smart city. In the final section, we explore the notion of the ‘right to the smart city’ and how this might be used to recast the smart city in emancipatory and empowering ways.

Keywords: citizenship, social justice, smart cities, right to the city, ethics

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New working paper: Smart approach to the commons? A case for a public Internet infrastructure

Paolo Cardullo has published a new Programmable City working paper (No. 40) via OSF: Smart approach to the commons? A case for a public Internet infrastructure. DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/4XKCA

Many thanks to Rob Kitchin and Cesare di Feliciantonio for their editing suggestions and comments, and to the attendees of the ‘After the smart city? The state of critical scholarship ten years on’ sessions at the Association of American Geographers meeting in New Orleans, April 2018, for their useful observations.

Abstract – The paper advances some critical reflections, and contributes to the debate, around commons and commoning in the smart city. It suggests that so-called ‘smart commons’ – that is, forms of ownership of data and digital infrastructure increasingly central to the discourse around appropriation and co-production of smart technologies – tend to focus more on the outcome (open data or free software) rather than the process which maintains and reproduces such commons. Thus, the paper makes a positional argument for a ‘smart approach’ to the commons, advocating for a central role for the public as a stakeholder in nurturing and maintaining urban commons in the smart city. The argument is illustrated through three brief case studies which reflect on instances of commons and commoning in relation to the implementation of public Internet infrastructure.

Key words: Smart City; Public Internet; Smart Commons; Commoning