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Critical scholarship on smart city has discussed and critiqued the notion of “smartness” purported by corporations, governments, entrepreneurs, consultants and academics. Researchers have pointed out that what counts as “smart” in smart cities is based on a very limited understanding of intelligence and knowledge, an understanding that renders all urban processes as measurable, quantifiable and eventually subject to optimization.

Event details of Politics of non-knowing in smart cities | by Anna Nikolaeva | 25 May 16:00-17:00 CEST
Date 25 May 2021
Time 16:00 -17:00
Organised by Anna Nikolaeva

At the same time alternative approaches to urban knowledges are downplayed or ignored (Verrest & Pfeffer, 2019). While this scholarship has advanced our understanding of the politics of knowledge in the smart cities, I argue that it is equally crucial to focus on the politics of “non-knowing”. Drawing on four cases studies on smart technology and cycling in four cities, the contribution proposes a series of questions on the politics of non-knowing in a "smart" city. How does the construction of the “unknown” advance particular agendas and includes or excludes various players from the conversation on urban futures? How “non-knowing” is contested in "smart" cities, and what is the role of technology and big data in this? Whose “non-knowing” counts and what kind of knowledges it may displace and marginalise?

The Urban Dialogues Series

The Centre for Urban Studies cordially invites you to participate in the new Urban Dialogues series. This series gives CUS members and guests the opportunity to share their research and receive feedback, to enlarge their network, and to explore potential collaborations. Each session will start with a 30 minute presentation, followed by a 30 minute discussion, in which everyone is welcome to participate. Please find the full programme below.

27 October (16:00-17:00 CET)

Refugee Commoning Carescapes vs State Policies of Campization in Greece

Charalampos Tsavdaroglou and Maria Kaika

24 November (16:00-17:00 CET)

City Science

Caroline Nevejan

26 January (16:00-17:00 CET)

Sustainable Urbanization Practices in European Regions

David Evers

23 February (16:00-17:00 CET)

Wellbeing Index Amsterdam

Hebe VerrestNicky Pouw 

30 March (16:00-17:00 CET)

Multispecies Urbanism

Debra Solomon

7 April  (14:30-15:15 CET, EXTRA SESSION)

Common Mental Health Disorders (in Urban Environments)

Claudi Bockting

20 April (16:00-17:00 CET)

MOOC's: Experiences and Potentials

Marco te Brömmelstroet and George Liu

18 May (16:00-17:00 CET)


Sujata Patel

25 May (16:00-17:00 CET)

Politics of Non-knowing in Smart Cities

Anna Nikolaeva

29 June (16:00-17:00 CET)

Urban Aesthetics: From Places of Occupation to Gentrification

Olga SeznevaGiselinde Kuipers and Anastasiya Halauniova