Public Event – Rethinking the Smart City: A Primer

The Programmable City project is excited to be supporting an upcoming public discussion with Adam Greenfield around the concept of the smart city.

When: March 24th 7pm – 9pm
Where: Dunlop Oriel House, Corner of Fenian Street 7 Westland Row, Dublin 2
Speakers: Adam Greenfield, with an introduction by Rob Kitchin
Respondents: Aphra Kerr (NUIM), Jim Merricks White (NUIM) Rachel O’Dwyer (TCD)

The event is organised by Provisional University & Dublin Art & Technology Association.

Admission is free but places are limited. To book go to

It’s generally understood that a smart city refers to integrated information and communication technologies, embedded sensor networks and smart girds rapidly becoming part of the infrastructural fabric of our cities, and contributing to its overall function and management. But the smart city is not just an informational overlay. It extends to a broader rationality for resource management (water, energy, transport, air), for governance and agency administration, and for economic stimulation.

While this is significant, various factors seem to have prevented extended public discussion about smart cities. This might be because planning for the smart city is still limited to academic research institutions and government initiatives. It might also be the case that the disciplinary approach to the smart city means it doesn’t always join up with other relevant discussions about urban planning and policy, resource management and the right to the city currently taking place, even though we share and articulate many of the same concerns. We therefore see this event as a primer for more ongoing discussion on the smart city, as it relates to these broader issues and particularly as it relates to Dublin City.

What are we talking about when we talk about the smart city? What limitations are there to the way that the smart city is currently articulated? What alternatives might exist?


Adam Greenfield is a writer, urbanist and founding director of New York City-based design practice Urbanscale. His work focuses on the intersection of design, technology and culture, with a strong interest in urban form and metropolitan experience. Greenfield is the author of Everyware: the Dawning age of Ubiquitous Computing (New Riders, 2006) and Against the Smart City (The city is here for you to use) alongside Nurri Kim (Do Projects, 2013). Adam is also Senior Urban Fellow at LSE Cities.

Rob Kitchin is a professor and ERC Advanced Investigator in the National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis at the National University of Ireland Maynooth.  His book ‘Code/Space’ (with Martin Dodge) won the Association of American Geographers ‘Meridian Book Award’ for the outstanding book in the discipline in 2011. He is currently a PI on the Programmable City project, the Digital Repository of Ireland, and the All-Island Research Observatory.

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  1. Pingback: Launch Events: Programmable City Project March 24th-25th | The Programmable City

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