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Call for Abstracts for the conference: RC21. The Ideal City: between myth and reality – Urbino (Italy) – 27-29 August 2015

Smart participation: putting the social into urban innovation / STREAM A – Cities and innovation

A Smart City can be considered as a specific form of ideal city that emphasises the efficiency of infrastructures by using ICT: Many early models equal a smart city with the systemic integration of ICT in e.g. the energy or the mobility sectors – while not touching societal aspects. With that approach, they backed Crouch’s (2003) thesis that decisions on technical and technological development are (still) not being taken with participation of the broad population. Recently, smart city models consider the use of technologies not as an end in itself but as a means to “fuel sustainable economic growth and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory governance” (Caragliu et al. 2009: 6).

In this session, participants gather to explore relations of participation and smartness in cities – and to discuss interdependency, as well as challenges for societies. Questions to be dealt with during this proposed session are:

Conceptual questions such as: How and to what extent could any concept of participation be included in smart city concepts? What is “Smart Participation”? This refers e.g. to different roles of individuals, stakeholder groups and society, different concepts of Smart Cities and Smartness, to general questions whether new forms and methods of participation evolve, or if participation in smart city development is democratic at all.
Practical questions such as: What are socio-cultural and political preconditions for smart(er) cities? What is a Smart Citizen in urban contexts? This refers e.g. to how and to what extent people and groups already participate in developing smart infrastructures and services, to actual scopes of action, to interdependencies between technical developments, urban spaces and democratic institutions.
Case studies, comparative studies or reflection papers that address one or several of the questions above are welcome. The session will be organised as a round table session with ca. four presenting scholars (10 min each) while answering two to three questions relevant to all four papers. Audience is invited to actively join in.

Organizer: Carolin Schröder (Center for Technology & Society, Technische Universität Berlin, DE)

Deadline for the submission of abstracts: 31 January 2015

Further information on the submission process and the conference: www.rc21.org/en/conferences/urbino2015/

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