Date and location

  •   November 14, 2016 - November 14, 2016
  •   Boulevard de la Plaine 9, 1050 Etterbeek, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

Conference details

Bridging European Urban Transformations – Workshop Series in Brussels 2016-2017
Funded by the ESRC
1st Workshop
(Un)Plugging Data in Smart City-Regions

Co-organised in partnership by the
University of Oxford – Urban Transformations & VUB – Brussels Centre for Urban Studies 
Date: 14th November 2016
Duration: 9:00-16:00
Venue: SMIT  – Boulevard de la Plaine 9, 1050 Etterbeek, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

Topic
Attention to the application of new information flows and the development of the socalled ‘smart cities’ paradigm is increasing; however, there is still limited understanding of the interconnections between ‘hard,’ ‘smart’ infrastructures and economic, political and social systems on metropolitan and regional scales. Furthermore, this paradigm has often failed to deliver practical tools that can help us to better understand and intervene in our daily realities, while also engaging with the various stakeholders that are important for our cities and regions. The workshop aims to rethink the dominant technocratic and technology-centric smart city discourse: not by imagining cities beyond or before technologies, but by accepting that city-regions are already fundamentally shaped by networked and mobile ICTs and by critically thinking through the governance consequences of the promises and realities of smart cities. For example, many argue that smart city-regions will inevitably revolve around generating large amounts of data and that this in itself will lead to new insights and governance strategies. But in reality, city-regions are much more complex and shaped by a large variety of different actors and organisations with often conflicting positions. Another strand of debate emphasizes the impact of nearuniversal uptake of smartphones and other hand-held devices as well as the impact of the Internet of Things i.e. networks of data-gathering sensors and cloud computing. Many use these devices and networks on a daily basis, but what this means for cityregional governance and the power-laden relationships between citizens, governments and companies remains an open question. All this makes truly ‘smart’ city-regional governance exceedingly difficult, but at the same time a fascinating and rewarding scale for investigating the various meanings and usages of ‘smartness’.

Related Documents

How to get there

Boulevard de la Plaine 9, 1050 Etterbeek, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium