Book Review of Justin Parkhurst’s The Politics of Evidence


The LSE Review of Books just published a new review of Justin Parkhurst’s The Politics of Evidence: From Evidence-Based Policy to the Good Governance of Evidence (Routledge, 2017). Parkhurst provides a very useful summary of the pros and cons of evidence-based policy and provides a framework for using evidence effectively. This is essential reading for those who are interested in the connections between research and policy. Read more here.

Real World Labs in Stuttgart

Impacts and implications

I was invited to a workshop in Stuttgart on Real World Labs hosted by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of the German state of Baden-Würtemberg. Six project teams presented their current work on situated innovation and I delivered a keynote presentation on ‘Impacts and Implications of Real World Labs’. I also convened a workshop with Niko Schäpke and Katleen de Flander on ‘Space, scale and time as key dimensions of configuring urban real world labs’. Thanks to Niko for the invitation!

Nordic Geographers Meeting in Stockholm


I attended the Nordic Geographers Meeting in Stockholm and co-organised three sessions on ‘Smart for Whom?’ with Federico Cugurullo. Thanks to following contributors for their insightful presentations:

  1. The Social and Environmental Implications of Smart Cities: A Global Comparative Research Agenda,
Byron Miller
  2. Doing smart governance: an assemblage approach, Matthew Cook and Simon Joss
  3. Understanding Smart City Policies through a critical analytical framework: the cases of Cape Town and Amsterdam,
Hebe Verrest and Karin Pfeffer
  4. Interface points and divisions in a smart urban district in the Dublin Docklands, Liam Heaphy
  5. Knowledge Politics and Representational Inequalities in Open Calgary, Ryan L. Burns
  6. Stretching “Smart”: Enhancing Health and Well-Being of Urban Residents in Kashiwa- no-ha Smart City,
Greg Trencher and Andrew Karvonen
  7. The UK Smart City and its Publics, Rob Cowley, Simon Joss and Federico Caprotti
  8. The “smart” inhabitant: ‘Digi-Tal’ services and social differences in Tel Aviv City, Tali Hatuka & Hadas Zur
  9. What the smart city model can learn from Latin American cities. The case of Medellin, Colombia, Gynna Millan
  10. How we know where we are in the smart city – citizen perceptions in Amsterdam, Christine Richter, Shazade Jameson, Linnet Taylor and Carmen Pérez del Pulgar
  11. The unsustainability of smart-city governance: new hardware, old software, Federico Cugurullo
  12. Equality and the Smart City: Negotiating (Post)Democracy in Manchester, UK, Joe Blakey
  13. Exploring agriculture in smart urban development: a realistic food supply or middle class indulgence?,
Per-Anders Langendahl, Matthew Cook, Cecilia Mark-Herbert, and Annika Gottberg
  14. Technology beyond politics? Smart urbanism and social inequalities in the European city, Henrike Rau, Samuel Mössner, and Marco Santangelo

Luxembourg lecture on Urban Experiments


I delivered a lecture at the University of Luxembourg on ‘Urban Experiments: The Politics of Measuring, Assessing, and Scaling’ as part of a public lecture series on ‘Science and Citizens meet Challenges of Sustainability’. I also hosted a workshop with Master’s students that are earning a Certificate in Sustainable Development and Social Innovation. Good stuff! Thank you to Ariane König for the invitation.

AAG Annual Meeting in Boston


I attended the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers in Boston and participated in a number of sessions. Federico Cugurullo and I co-organised two paper sessions on the theme of ‘Situating Smart: Spatial and Material Politics of Smart Urbanisation’ and I organised a panel discussion on The Experimental City. On the way to the conference one morning, I stumbled across the Fenway Victory Gardens in the Frederick Law Olmsted’s Back Bay and Fens (pictured above). This is the oldest operating Victory Gardens in the US. Wonderful to see that they are still used for growing!