About



MANU FERNÁNDEZ

Urban policies analysis / Strategic urban thinker and designer of innovative urban actions

Interested in working on projects related to urban economy, local sustainability, urban innovation processes and actions, digital cities and civic engagement in public space.

My research and consulting activity has been focused on three main fields:
• Adaptive urbanism: I have been concerned of how economic crisis is impacting cities, basically in the Spanish context (but using international cases as a reference) and I am advocating for an adaptive urbanism. This is based on the idea that we suffer three main problems we have to face and work on together: economic restrictions (which means the age of big urban interventions is over), climate change (which means we need to adapt built environment) and a social change that is transforming society with new paradigms of learning, governance, companies,.. (which, in the case of local public policies, means there´s a need for less hierarchic policy planning in favour of open source urbanism, tactical urbanism and participatory planning).
• A bottom-up approach for smart cities: I have been active on the links between urban life and technology for quite a while, even before the smart cities motto began. I have lectured, participated in research projects and written a lot about this big challenge for our cities and have built a comprehensive understanding and discourse, advocating the need to “urbanize” technology, to design smart technology from a user-driven design process and to deploy new technologies considering local needs and from a bottom-up perspective in which all urban knowledge disciplines take part.
• Sustainable creative local economies: I have been involved in different consultancy aimed to help cities and decision makers create more vibrant economies using innovation and technology-led initiatives.

I am also promoter of UrbApps, a social innovation platform promoting mobile civic apps as innovative tools to engage citizens and policy makers to take advantage of digital media to build smart sustainable cities from crowdsourced mapping, urban informatics and online participatory tools. Activities range from civic hackathons to workshops exploring the links between the “code world” and the “sustainable world” to promote civic start-ups, mobile applications and engagement processes in urban contexts.


Book reviewer for MIT Press, Earthscan, Phaidon, Routledge or Paidós and contributing writer for online and in-print magazines such as La Ciudad Viva (ES), New Start Magazine (UK)  or Yorokobu (ES).



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