Smart participation: putting the social into urban innovation / STREAM A – Cities and innovation

Organizer: Carolin Schröder (Center for Technology & Society, Technische Universität Berlin, DE)


A Smart City can be considered as a specific form of ideal city that emphasises the efficiency of infrastructures by using ICT: Many early models equal a smart city with the systemic integration of ICT in e.g. the energy or the mobility sectors – while not touching societal aspects. With that approach, they backed Crouch’s (2003) thesis that decisions on technical and technological development are (still) not being taken with participation of the broad population. Recently, smart city models consider the use of technologies not as an end in itself but as a means to “fuel sustainable economic growth and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory governance” (Caragliu et al. 2009: 6).

In this session, participants gather to explore relations of participation and smartness in cities – and to discuss interdependency, as well as challenges for societies. Questions to be dealt with during this proposed session are:

  • Conceptual questions such as: How and to what extent could any concept of participation be included in smart city concepts? What is “Smart Participation”? This refers e.g. to different roles of individuals, stakeholder groups and society, different concepts of Smart Cities and Smartness, to general questions whether new forms and methods of participation evolve, or if participation in smart city development is democratic at all.
  • Practical questions such as: What are socio-cultural and political preconditions for smart(er) cities? What is a Smart Citizen in urban contexts? This refers e.g. to how and to what extent people and groups already participate in developing smart infrastructures and services, to actual scopes of action, to interdependencies between technical developments, urban spaces and democratic institutions.

Case studies, comparative studies or reflection papers that address one or several of the questions above are welcome. The session will be organised as a round table session with ca. four presenting scholars (10 min each) while answering two to three questions relevant to all four papers. Audience is invited to actively join in.

Session A1.1 Smart Participation

Chair: Carolin Schröder (Center for Technology & Society, Technische Universität Berlin)


Jean Daniélou
User-oriented Cities and Cyborg-Citizenship

Rajarshi Rakesh Sahai
Growing smartly with Smart Cities

Vanesa Castán Broto
Sustainable Energy Delivery: Smart Innovation encounters the realities of every day access to energy

Distributed Papers

Anastasia Stratigea, Chrysaida-Aliki Papadopoulou, Maria Panagiotopoulou
Tools and Technoloies for Planning the Development of Smart Cities

Carlo F. Capra
The Smart City and its citizens: governance and citizen participation in Amsterdam Smart City

Session A1.2 Smart Participation

Chair: Carolin Schröder (Center for Technology & Society, Technische Universität Berlin)


Paul Hepburn
Smart Cities: Just how clever does local government need to be? Lessons from a case study on co-creating digital applications for elderly people

Alexander Hamedinger, Sebastian Raho
Participation Processes in medium-sized smart cities in Austria: forms and barriers

Ijlal Naqvi
Towards a Smarter City through the Participatory Mapping of the Electrical Power Distribution System in Lahore, Pakistan

Agnieszka Gontarz
Living law for smarter cities through meaning data analysis

Distributed Papers

Tia Kansara
Masdar City, a case study of smart participation, or not?

Chiara Certomà, Francesco Rizzi
Spontaneous smartness. Smart City as an emerging effect of bottom-up, actor-networks’ agency

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