Lecture: Challenging the Corporate Smart City

Date/Time: 30/09/2015 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

‘Smart Cities Dumb Maps’

In these first four sessions of the new Livingmaps Seminar series we will be developing a critical reading of the ‘smart city’ agenda and exploring ways in which digital mapping and other technologies could be mobilised or transformed to serve as platform for democratic action.


Seminar 1: ‘Challenging the Corporate Smart City’

Presenter: Robert Hollands

Discussant: Phil Cohen

This lecture looks at how we currently understand the smart city and critiques the growing trend towards corporate and entrepreneurial governance versions. It goes on to consider smartness from different perspectives emanating from small-scale and fledgling forms of participatory and citizen-based initiatives.

Robert is a Professor of Sociology at Newcastle University. He has written widely in urban and youth studies, including studies of nightlife, smart cities, fringe festivals, the egalitarian arts, and alternative urban cultures. His latest project is a Major Research Fellowship with the Leverhulme Trust entitled: ‘Urban Cultural Movements and the Struggle for Alternative Creative Spaces’.



New Seminar Series from Livingmaps

‘Smart Cities Dumb Maps’ is the first set in a series of new Livingmaps Seminars for 2015-2016. We are changing the formula slightly. In order to achieve greater continuity and depth each term is organised around a specific theme under the general rubric of ‘Digital Humanities and the Cartographic Turn’. We will be exploring points of intersection created by the spatial turn in the various human sciences, the impact of digital mapping technologies on the presentation of different kinds of data, and the emergence of new arts and community based practices of critical cartography:

  • Autumn Term: ‘Smart Cities Dumb Maps’ (all seminars at the Young Foundation)
  • Spring Term: ‘Waypoints and other Narrigations’ (all seminars at Birkbeck)
  • Summer Term: ‘Shape Shifters’ (all seminars at the Mayday Rooms)

Each term there will be two sessions with a lecture/discussant format followed by a dialogic seminar with a presenters panel bringing together people from different perspectives and practices, and ending with a hands-on workshop for people who want to develop or apply their cartographic skills in relation to the chosen theme. Please note that the lecture and seminar sessions will now normally take place on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 pm, and each block of events will be held at the same venue. The final workshops will be held at the Mayday Rooms on Saturday mornings.

Venue: The Young Foundation

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