Abstract: In this talk, I will argue that the narrative of the smart city, as it is currently articulated, is limited and gives rise to a potentially authoritarian vision of cities under centralized, computational surveillance and control: overplanned, overdetermined, and driven by the needs of enterprise. But I will also contend that an alternative exists, and will explore some practical, concrete ways we might use the networked information technologies we already have to advance and support an urban experience that responds to our needs, demands, and desires. How might we inscribe a robust conception of the right to the city in these systems that will do so much to define the urban experience in the twenty-first century?
Bio: Adam Greenfield is Senior Urban Fellow at LSE Cities and founded Urbanscale, a New York City-based practice dedicated to “design for networked cities and citizens.” Between 2008 and 2010, he lived and worked in Helsinki, as Nokia’s head of design direction for service and user interface design; earlier in the decade, he had worked as lead information architect for the Tokyo office of Internet consultancy Razorfish. He is the author of Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing (2006), “Urban computing and its discontents” (2007, with Mark Shepard) and “Against the smart city” (2013), the last of which constitutes the first part of a forthcoming book entitled The City is Here For You to Use. With his wife, artist Nurri Kim, Adam is also co-founder of Do projects, a platform for collaborative making. Since 2010, Do projects has conducted the innovative Systems/Layers “walkshops” in cities around the world, a series of walking tours dedicated to investigating the ways in which digital networks gather information from and return information to the street. His research concentrates on the interaction of networked information technology with urban experience, and particularly on the implications of emergent technologies for the construction of public space and the right to the city.