[Air-L] CFP EASST 2018 panel A10: Commoning the Smart City
ginger.coons at utoronto.ca
Wed Jan 17 01:33:55 PST 2018
We (Nicole Foster and ginger coons of the Digital Cultures Research
Centre at the University of the West of England) welcome submissions to
EASST 2018 panel A10: Commoning the Smart City. Submissions can be made
through the EASST website
Smart cities construct inhabitants as consumers. They aggregate and
exploit individual preferences and behaviors to create rational,
efficient cities. Hackability could subvert 'smart' initiatives. This
panel explores tensions between the smart and the hackable in the
context of the digital commons.
Engineers, planners and policymakers espouse faith in technocratic
solutions to urban ills. 'Smart city' narratives suggest that positive
outcomes can be achieved by creating personalized experiences of the
city. Instead of a generalized conception of the public, city
inhabitants are constructed as diverse consumers representing market
sectors. Interactions with public services and spaces can be tailored to
produce efficient behavior and pleasurable, engaging experiences, making
concerns regarding surveillance and social engineering more difficult to
identify and contest. Because the 'smart city' is based on aggregating
and exploiting individual preferences and behaviors, realizing the ideal
of an urban commons becomes even more elusive.
The 'hackable city' (frequently constituted as bottom-up organizing)
could provide a subversive corrective to 'smart city' (top-down,
centrally-managed) initiatives. However, the radical potential of these
practices remains uncertain. While do-it-yourself urbanists and civic
hackers can be seen as challenging these narratives through the
appropriation of technologies and spaces by encouraging unsanctioned
uses of public spaces, such projects are not subject to participatory
planning processes and may reflect elite consumption preferences.
'Hackable city' interventions could prove to be exclusionary.
We invite contributions which critically explore the tensions
underpinning smart and hackable city technologies, public space and its
relationship to the commons. How might engagement with
technically-mediated public spaces undermine or constitute a commons? Do
hackable city interventions empower public space users to become
producers? We especially seek work that complicates implicit dichotomies
like bottom-up and top down, or hackable versus smart, engaging with the
grey space between extremes.
We look forward to your submissions!
-ginger coons and Nicole Foster
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