Symposium: Beware of Smart People



Beware of Smart People!Re-defining the Smart City Paradigm towards Inclusive Urbanism

June 19 – 20, 2015, Berlin
Czech Center / Tschechisches Kulturzentrum & TU Berlin, Main building, Lichthof

The current debate about Smart Cities is strongly influenced by technological and application-oriented “hard” perspectives that predominantly materialize through the insertion of “smart” infrastructures into existing urban systems. Citizens (as individuals) and urban societies (as bodies) remain passive beneficiaries, end users or consumers.

This “smartification” of urban management is contrasted by increasing demands made by civil society and urban social movements towards greater inclusion in decision-making: New urban actors acquire new agency through local knowledge, expertise, creativity, social networking skills and collaborative capabilities, or social entrepreneurship.

The symposium “Beware of Smart People” addresses the conflictual reality in which Smart City approaches are currently unfolding. International scholars and practitioners will

(1) Reflect on the “Smart City” as a contested paradigm;

(2) Shift the discourse towards the notion of the urban as co-produced by many voices;

(3) Attempt to redefine “Smart City” by putting ordinary citizens as “Smart People” at the core of the debate.

Anne-Katrin Fenk (MOD Institute) is official observer of the conference and will critically question the third panel on “production and Practices of Urban Commoning”. See programme for details.

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