Smart Cities in the Making

Many cities across the world are being reconfigured by digital technologies and reframed as ‘smart cities’. However, cities are far from passive contexts in which digital technologies are simply implemented. How smart reworks the social in cities and specifically how it maintains and generates social difference is a key matter of concern. However, social difference cannot be reduced to a question of access to digital devices – a digital divide. Digital devices are pervasive and encountered in very many forms in many everyday urban practices. From CCTV monitoring of traffic flows to warehouse stock control and logistics to supermarket loyalty cards, digital devices generate data which are analysed to manage many aspects of cities, from transport and logistics to one’s social media footprint. Thus access to a computer or a smartphone is not the only way in which people are integrated into datafied urban spaces. Casting smart urban developments as compositions of claims, technologies, policies, versions of citizenship and business models, which are defined and gather through a mobilisation of the digital, the ESRC funded project Smart Cities in the Making (SCiM) investigates how smart inflects the contours of social difference in cities.   For further information, follow this link: http://www.scim-mk.org

 

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