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Smart Cities

Provincialising the
global urban age in

India & South Africa

A FOUR YEAR INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH COLLABORATION
BETWEEN UNIVERSITY OF NEUCHÂTEL AND UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
ON INDIAN AND SOUTH AFRICAN SMART CITIES.

PROJECT THEMATIC

Smart cities as a proposed solution to efficient urban governance has gained traction since 2000 because of the deep involvement of global IT companies, the support of funding programmes from EU, DfID and USAid and the interest of national governments and urban municipalities.

As a consequence, retrofitted smart city ‘packages’ or fully-fledged smart ‘city in a box’ are increasingly making their way into national agendas in the global south. Through a comparative study of smart cities in India and South Africa, this project will research globally circulating urban development narratives around ICT and data-driven urbanism, its ‘mutations’ in different urban contexts and ‘urban hacking’ at the scale of everyday life. The outcomes of the project will thus move beyond a critical stance to provide prosaic visions of smart urbanism that are alternative, empowering and knowledge intensive.

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This project begins with the broad hypothesis that the global circulation of smart cities (new cities from scratch and retrofitted) are translated in different global south contexts through local visions, technologies and built manifestations. This will form the basis of developing an empirical and theoretical research agenda around ‘smart urbanism’ that captures the local historical, political and alternative forms of data-driven urbanism from the grassroots.

 

This November,
we invite you to our online conference

25-26 

NOVEMBER

2021

URBAN DATA POLITICS

IN TIMES OF CRISIS

This conference aims to engage with data politics and crises in all its urban expressions – big data, deep data, small data, no data, data scarcity and dataveillance alongside its political and social implications in a context where our 'data bodies' are increasingly the markers of our identities and experiences.

A select panel of speakers will provide a mix of virtual and in-person presentations – all streamed to an online platform. 

We invite those interested in attending the conference

– either virtually or in-person in Neuchâtel – to register their interest using the link to our conference website below.

 

The three modes of existence of the pandemic smart city

2021

Söderström, S.

 

Urban Geography, 42(3), pp.399-407

More-than-local, more-than-mobile:

The smart city effect in South Africa

2021

Söderström, S., Blake, E. and Odendaal, O.

 

Geoforum, 122, pp.103-117

Publications

Apps, maps and war rooms:

on the modes of existence of “COVtech” in India 

2021

Datta, A., Aditi, A., Ghoshal, A., Thomas, A. and Mishra, Y.

 

Urban Geography, 42(3), pp.382-390

Constructing an “infrastructure of care” – understanding the institutional remnants and socio-technical practices that constitute South Africa’s Covid-19 response.

2021

Odendaal, N.

 

Urban Geography, 42(3), pp.391-398

Pandemic in a smart city:

Singapore’s COVID-19 management through technology & society

2020

Das, D. and Zhang, J.J.

 

Urban Geography, 42(3), pp.408-416

Self (ie)-governance:

Technologies of intimate surveillance in India under COVID-19

2020

Datta, A.

 

Dialogues in Human Geography, 10(2), pp.234-237

When Airbnb sits in the control room:

Platform urbanism as actually existing smart urbanism in Reykjavík

2020

Söderström, O. and Mermet, A.C.

 

Frontiers in Sustainable Cities, 2, pp.15

Airbnb

2020

Mermet, A.C. and Söderström, O.

 

in Adam, M and Comby, E (dir.) Le capital dans la cité.

Une encyclopédie critique de la ville, Paris: Editions Amsterdam, pp. 53-64

 

Meet the team leaders

PROF. OLA SÖDERSTRÖM
University of Neuchâtel,
Switzerland


PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

PROF. AYONA DATTA
University College London,
United Kingdom


CO-INVESTIGATOR

DR. NANCY ODENDAAL
University of Cape Town,
South Africa


LOCAL PARTNER

DR. DIGANTA DAS
Nanyang Technological University,
Singapore


LOCAL PARTNER

Location

University of Neuchâtel
Institute of Geography (IGG)
Espace Tilo-Frey 1,
CH-2000 Neuchâtel

Contact us

+ 41 32 718 1812
provesmartcities@gmail.com

Provincialising Smart Cities, 2021