Special Issue: Smart and Sustainable Cities: Pipedreams, Practicalities and Possibilities

I am pleased to announce a new special issue of Local Environment on ‘Smart and Sustainable Cities: Pipedreams, Practicalities and Possibilities’ with co-editors James Evans, Andres Luque-Ayala, Chris Martin, Kes McCormick, Rob Raven and Yuliya Voytenko Palgan. The special issue includes the following articles:

  • Smart and sustainable cities? Pipedreams, practicalities and possibilities by James Evans , Andrew Karvonen, Andres Luque-Ayala, Chris Martin, Kes McCormick, Rob Raven and Yuliya Voytenko Palgan
  • Thinking critically about smart city experimentation: entrepreneurialism and responsibilization in urban living labs by Anthony M. Levenda
  • The promise of smart grids by Heather Lovell
  • Smart meter data and equitable energy transitions – can cities play a role? by Jess Britton
  • Stretching “smart”: advancing health and well-being through the smart city agenda by Gregory Trencher and Andrew Karvonen
  • Urban sharing in smart cities: the cases of Berlin and London by Lucie Zvolska, Matthias Lehner, Yuliya Voytenko Palgan, Oksana Mont & Andrius Plepys
  • Smart and eco-cities in India and China by Johanna I. Höffken & Agnes Limmer

Student proposals for the Urban ICT Arena

The Master’s students in my Urban Infrastructure course submitted proposals to the Urban ICT Arena in Kista that combine technological innovation and urban development. The groups drew on global precedents to develop customised ideas for Kista involving drones, apps, virtual reality, and other technologies. Great stuff! The proposals are posted here.

CFP – Urban Planning and the Smart City: Projects, Practices and Politics

Themed issue of Urban Planning edited by Andrew Karvonen, Matthew Cook and Håvard Haarstad

Deadline for Abstracts: 30 June 2019
Deadline for Full Papers: 30 September 2019
Issue Release: February/March 2020

The contemporary smart cities agenda has been dominated by ICT actors with ambitious and far-reaching visions to digitalise collective urban services. Meanwhile, the role of planners (both public and private) as key actors of urban development has been marginalised. This is gradually changing as iconic and unique smart projects are giving way to the ‘actually existing smart city’ where digitalisation is emerging as a common activity of urban development processes.

The aim of this thematic issue is to present empirical findings on how urban planners are emerging as influential actors in smart urbanisation as well as how smart cities are influencing urban planning practices. The synergies between planning and digitalisation have significant implications in how cities will be governed in the future. Contributors to this thematic issue are encouraged to submit papers on topics that include but are not limited to:

  • Integration of smart agendas with existing urban visions and masterplans;
  • Synergies and tensions of smart cities as they relate to sustainability, resilience, democratic participation and representation, well-being, sharing, equity and related issues;
  • Experiences of participating in triple and quadruple helix collaborations;
  • Knowledge politics of urban innovation and digitalisation, including scaling and transfer, exchange through international networks, policy mobilities, etc.
  • Empirical contributions are encouraged from scholars and practitioners in urban planning and geography, policy studies and political science, anthropology and sociology, science and technology studies, etc., who currently examine how smart cities are influencing urban planning projects, practices and politics.

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s editorial policies and to send their abstracts (about 200-250 words, with a tentative title) by email to the journal’s editorial office (up@cogitatiopress.com) by 30 June 2019.

More information here

New Project – PERICENE: Peri-Urbanization and Climate-Environment Change

I am very pleased to announce a new research project, ‘PERICENE: Peri-Urbanization & Climate-Environment Change’, with colleagues from India and the UK. We will develop the first ever comprehensive assessment of global peri-urbanisation, with its climate impacts, risks and vulnerabilities and also create an interactive Peri-urban Analysis Tool. At the heart of the project is two detailed case studies of Chennai and Greater Manchester.

The project is funded through the ‘Towards a Sustainable Earth’ program, from NERC (UK), DBT (India) and Formas (Sweden). Research organizations include: University of Manchester (Centre for Urban Resilience & Energy): Indian Institute of Technology Madras (Indo-German Centre for Sustainability): KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

More details on the project are here: https://co-evolutionary.com/peri-cene-project/

Social housing providers as middle actors in low-carbon innovation

Cauvain2018How do social housing providers contribute to the decarbonisation of the built environment? Jenny Cauvain and I just published a new article in Energy & Buildings that demonstrates how social housing providers serve as ‘middle actors’ between the national government, local authorities, building professionals, and residents. The article is open access until 21 October 2018 from this link.


Projects, Platforms and the Emergence of Modular Urban Development

RGS 2018 papersAt the Royal Geographical Society with IBG Annual International Meeting in Cardiff, James Evans and I co-organised two paper sessions on ‘Projects, Platforms and the Emergence of Modular Urban Development’. Thanks to the presenters for a rich discussion of how projects, experiments, laboratories, testbeds and meanwhile uses are becoming a new mode of urbanisation.