Call for Papers: AAG 2018 – New Orleans

Geographies of Urban Automation

Federico Cugurullo – Trinity College Dublin
Simon Marvin – University of Sheffield
Rob Raven – University of Utrecht
Alan Wiig – University of Massachusetts, Boston

Call for Papers – deadline Wednesday 18th October 2017

The physical and social structure of the city is being increasingly shaped by autonomous technologies. Self-driving cars, drones, smart power grids and robots driven by an artificial intelligence, are expected to become part of the everyday life of cities over the next couple of decades, thereby generating a substantial socio-political, environmental and economic impact. Far from being a homogeneous phenomenon, urban automation varies in extent and nature across different geographical spaces, and this session aims to explore its multiple incarnations and variegations.

Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Urban experimentation with robotics and autonomous technologies in different geographical contexts and amongst different urban stakeholders
  • Future visions and discourses of the autonomous and robotised city and their histories and antecedents in fiction and film
  • Tracing the transmutation of robotics and automation from research institutes, advanced logistics and manufacturing, and military and security sectors into the urban context
  • Examining shifting environmental benefits and burdens of robotics and automation and how they might reshape urban metabolic politics and environments
  • The role of architecture, urban design and planning in creating ‘amenable’ urban landscapes for urban automation and robotics
  • The implications for urban economies and labour processes
  • The wider politics of urban automation and robotics – do they reinforce fragmentation and splintering or create new progressive possibilities?
Potential contributors are invited to send abstracts to Federico Cugurullo ( and Simon Marvin ( by Wednesday 18th October 2017.