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Cosmopolis/MOBI Lunch Seminar: Andrew Karvonen (University of Manchester)

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

‘From the Sustainable to the Smart City: Complementary or Contradictory Urban Visions?’

In the last five years, the smart city concept has rapidly risen to prominence within urban policy and governance discourses and is ‘on its way to become [the] leading driver of urban sustainability and regeneration initiatives’ (Jong et al. 2014: 12). There are growing expectations that digital technologies can optimise collective services and infrastructure networks to support economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable growth in cities. To date, there has been little reflection on the complementary and contradictory objectives, values, and impacts embodied in these agendas and the implications for urban development. In this presentation, I will provide insights on the convergence of smart and sustainable agendas and the potential tensions between these future urban visions.


Andrew Karvonen is Lecturer in Architecture and Urbanism in the School of Environment, Education and Development at the University of Manchester. In his research, he combines ideas from science & technology studies and urban studies to examine the politics and governance of infrastructure networks. He has completed projects on energy and water systems, smart districts, and low-carbon housing. He received the 2014 Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning John Friedmann Book Award for his research monograph, Politics of Urban Runoff: Nature, Technology, and the Sustainable City (The MIT Press).

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