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Cosmopolis Lunch Seminar with Igor Calzada (MBA – University of Oxford): '(Un)Plugging Smart Cities? Transitions, Governance and Devolution'

17 November 2016 , Department of Geography, room F4.66, 12h00-14h00

‘Smart city’ buzzword is a term that has established at the center of the urban policy agenda and debate in the EU and internationally. This lunch seminar suggests not only a critical review of the term itself and to the associated policy and civic initiatives that are taking place elsewhere by comparing them but also a constructive approach for a more comprehensive democratic interpretation and a socially progressive policy agenda of smartness in cities and regions.

Albeit, the concept itself and the related interventions in the real urban milieu have presented so far a strong bias towards the neoliberal urban agenda; the seminar aims to focus the debate on the governance issues of the hyper-connected societies based on the article published in the Journal of Urban Technology entitled ‘Unplugging: Deconstructing the Smart City’. The article examines and provides an analytical framework made up of 10 dimensions by suggesting unpacking (unplugging) the term from the social innovation perspective. The seminar will revolve around the current implications for cities and regions in adopting smartness as an strategic vision with its set of contradictions and also related opportunities. As such, the seminar will invite to a critical reflection while encouraging action research in order to tackle underlying issues such as data, socio-political processes, digital and social divide, among others. Likewise, required transitions for the multilevel governance in EU cities and regions will be explored by identifying current potential pathways towards smart devolution.

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