Gen 102017

Regional Studies Association Annual Conference, Dublin 4-7 June 2017

Governing the Smart City: a socio-environmental inquiry



Session organisers:

Federico Cugurullo, Department of Geography, Trinity College Dublin,

Chiara Garau, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture (DICAAR), University of Cagliari, Italy

Ginevra Balletto, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture (DICAAR), University of Cagliari, Italy

Paola Zamperlin, Applied Geography Lab, Department of History, Archaeology, Geography, Art and Performance Arts (SAGAS), University of Firenze, Italy.


Smart-city initiatives are rapidly shaping the way urban and regional development is being understood and practiced across the world. Smart-city projects promote the implementation of a number of urban technologies as part of a broader urban trend towards big data, the Internet of Things and sensor networks. However, to date, it is unclear how such urban strategies impact on local environments and societies.

Focusing on urban governance, this session aims to expand the knowledge of the political machinery that is behind the conceptualisation, implementation and development of so-called smart cities. The objective of the session is twofold. We seek papers which critique the governance of current smart-city initiatives, but also studies that can help us reflect on how smart technologies can be used to better govern and develop cities.

More specifically, the session explores how different modes and tools of smart-city governance influence the following (and hitherto overlooked) socio-environmental aspects of smart-city initiatives as they impact on urban development and living:

  • Sustainability
  • Land use
  • Happiness
  • Education
  • Citizens’ behaviours
  • Technology acceptance
  • Urban economy
  • Smart devices/users relationships

Please submit proposals for papers in the form of a 250 word abstract through the Regional Studies Association conference portal by Friday 24th February 2017.


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