Formas funding for pilot projects on knowledge generation and green & blue infrastructure networks

I am pleased to announce two successful grant applications from the Formas funding programme on Planning for Transformation (Stage 1). The funding provides seed money to develop more extensive research grants over the next five months. I will be working with Jonathan Metzger to develop a proposal on ‘Transformational Learning in Sustainable Spatial Planning: From Exemplary Districts to Systemic Change’ and also with Lina Suleiman, Blal Adem Esmail, Elisabet Roca, and Rocco Scolozzi to develop a proposal on ‘Networking for Planning Re-arrangement and Governing Sustainable Blue-Green Infrastructure.’ Looking forward to it!

New Project on Global Smart Cities

I am very pleased to announce a new two-year project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and led by Prof Byron Miller at the University of Calgary. The project, ‘Smart Cities in Global Comparative Perspective: Worlding and Provincializing Relationships’ will provide a comprehensive comparison of smart city initiatives in seven cities around the world: Toronto, Calgary, Stockholm, Barcelona, Singapore, Taipei, and Seoul. Collaborators include Georgia State University, Macalaster College, McGill University, National Taiwan University, National University of Singapore, Open University of Catalonia, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Seoul National University, Singapore Management University, University of California Los Angeles, University of Calgary, University of Manchester, University of Toronto, and York University.

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

Matthew Cook, Håvard Haarstad and I are pleased to share a special issue of Urban Planning on the topic of ‘Urban Planning and the Smart City: Projects, Practices and Politics‘ with the following articles:

Urban Planning and the Smart City: Projects, Practices and Politics
By Andrew Karvonen, Matthew Cook and Håvard Haarstad

When Alphabet Inc. Plans Toronto’s Waterfront: New Post-Political Modes of Urban Governance
By Constance Carr and Markus Hesse

Googling the City: In Search of the Public Interest on Toronto’s ‘Smart’ Waterfront
By Kevin Morgan and Brian Webb

Conceptualizing Testbed Planning: Urban Planning in the Intersection between Experimental and Public Sector Logics
By Lina Berglund-Snodgrass and Dalia Mukhtar-Landgren

EU Smart City Lighthouse Projects between Top-Down Strategies and Local Legitimation: The Case of Hamburg
By Katharina Lange and Jörg Knieling

Mapping Platform Urbanism: Charting the Nuance of the Platform Pivot
By Ashlin Lee, Adrian Mackenzie, Gavin J. D. Smith and Paul Box

How Does ICT Expansion Drive “Smart” Urban Growth? A Case Study of Nanjing, China
By Zipan Cai, Vladimir Cvetkovic and Jessica Page

The New Urban Science: A Roundtable Discussion

On Wednesday, 11 December, Vladimir Cvetkovic and I co-hosted a roundtable discussion at KTH on ‘The New Urban Science’. The aim of the event was to share insights on how contemporary cities are framed and utilised as objects of scientific study. Invited panellists included Jonas Bylund (JPI Urban Europe), Erica Eneqvist (RISE), Kelsey Oldbury (VTI) and Marco Molinari (KTH). We discussed issues related to digitalisation, experimentation, collaboration, and learning.

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

Congratulations to Todor Stojanovski PhD!

Todor Stojanovski passed his PhD viva in Planning and Decision Analysis on 14 June 2019. The title of his thesis is Urban Form and Mobility – Analysis and Information to Catalyse Sustainable Development. A big thank you to the opponent, Robert Cervero (UC Berkeley), and the distinguished grading panel that included Carey Curtis (Curtin University), Malgorzata Hanzl (Lodz University of Technology), Teresa Marat-Mendez (University Institute of Lisbon), Elsa Arcaute (UCL), and Yusak Susilo (KTH). I was honoured to serve as lead supervisor on Todor’s thesis with the assistance of Tigran Haas. Congratulations to Dr Stojanovski on a job well done!

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 ( 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: