Welcome from Ola Soderstrom (PI)
Updated: Feb 26
Things are getting started. The team – Ayona Datta in London, Nancy Odendaal in Cape Town, Diganta Das in Singapore and myself in Neuchâtel – are organizing Skype interviews next week with candidates from… well mostly anywhere in the world really. It’s not really easy to find a time slot to accommodate all participants living in different time zones. But of course, this is what this project is about: difference, technology, stretched geographies and a common global narrative concerning smart cities. This research is the result of discussions I have had with Ayona during the last couple of years or so since we decided it would be interesting to design a project together. We quickly asked Nancy and Diganta, both specialists of the relations between digital technologies and urban development in South Africa and India if they wanted to get on board. Our common work resulted earlier this year in a successful grant application at the Swiss National Science Foundation, which has a generous scheme for collaborations between Switzerland and the UK. We also are very fortunate to have two other very bright scholars involved as external advisers in our project: Gillian Rose (now at Oxford) and Federico Caprotti (Exeter). Difficult to imagine a better team to work on the provincialisation of smart cities and its hacking by social movements! With two PhD students, the team will soon be completed and we will officially start in January 2018. News, images, ideas from this project will feed this now inaugurated blog over the three years of the project. So, come back to us!