It will be a good chance to put forward the ideas behind Smart cities of the future?, my contribution to Smart citizens book, that are getting an extended version I am currently working on these weeks. and, at the same time, a way to confront this position with solutions and projects that will be presented.
My plan is to prepare a presentation to remark that smart cities are happening now, and probably not in the way we are being told. Certain discourses and visions about smart cities look into the future to show the promises of digital techonologies. In this approach there is a underlying negative attitude about the cities we are already living –the mess and chaotic disorder of cities will be finally resolved thanks to command and control-, also hiding new civic engagement practices and collaborative processes already happening. These practices hardly appear in the most apologetic bird´s eye visions of smart cities but, in the end, they are changing and expanding in a silent way the role of citizens. There is a need for an alternative narrative of networked technologies and the role of citizens and this kind of events -with a strong focus on groundbreaking technologies- confronts my skepticism and means an open door to test my own assumptions on urban futures.
As always, in the next few weeks I will share some early developments of the ideas I will address. work in progress from now. See you there!