A new ESRC funded Open Research Area project with partners in Europe and Japan starts in September 2016. The project is called Knowing – the KNOWledge politics of experimentING with smart urbanism.

The Urban Institute is the UK PI and is working closely with our partner Professor Adrian Smith at SPRU University of Sussex. The aim of this research project is to develop theoretical and empirical understanding of how formal (municipal, state, corporate responses) and informal (community, civic hacking, fabrication, alternative etc.) smart urbanism experimentation is re-shaping urban knowledge politics in European cities.

The project has three objectives:

  1. To develop an interdisciplinary and comparative analytical framework on the knowledge politics of smart urbanism experimentation.
  2. To gain deep empirical understanding of contemporary (formal and informal) smart urbanism experimentation. The project will apply and test the framework in 8 European cities in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Spain.
  3. To contribute to shaping contemporary debates on smart urbanism. The project will support cross-national, comparative analysis for refining the initial theoretical framework and debating the policy implications in various settings. Practically, the project will identify ways in which digital technologies are shaping new emancipatory interfaces between business, city administration and citizen initiatives. Alignment with a similar Japanese project allows comparison with Japanese smart cities.