One of the most pressing questions emerging from all the hype about smart cities is how people in a smart city actually engage with smart technologies. That’s one of the questions driving the ESRC-funded project Smart Cities in the Making: Learning from Milton Keynes, and I’m delighted to say announce its website is now live, at www.SCiM-MK.org.
SCiM-MK is a research project which will examine Milton Keynes as a smart city ‘in the making’ by a whole range of actors, including MK citizens, the city’s governance, smart products, smart data and various visualisations of smart. SCiM-MK will look at the social effects of all these aspects of a smart city. In particular, SCiM-MK will find out how social difference affects participation in smart, and whether smart creates new forms of social difference.
Since a better understanding of how different kinds of people in a smart city actually engage with smart technologies is now clearly needed in order to maximise the gains that those technologies offer, the project’s findings will be of local and international significance, learning lessons to be disseminated to cities across the UK and worldwide.
You can find out more about the project, the team, our partners and our activities on the site, as well get in touch with us, at www.SCiM-MK.org.
The Digital Geographies Working Group of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers is holding its first event. It’s got lots of various kinds of short presentations, opportunities to engage and interact so it should be fun and productive.
The event will be at the Royal Geographical Society in London on 30 June and if you have any kind of interest in studying or doing geography digitally, you’re very welcome to attend. You can book now, here, and the panel sessions will also be livestreamed on the day.
I gave a keynote lecture at the Neue Kulturgeographie XIV conference a couple of weeks ago, at the University of Bayreuth. My topic was ‘seeing the city in digital times’. I talked about the challenges of keeping cultural geography relevant as a critical project when so much visual culture is now digital, and I shared my recent work looking at how so-called ‘smart cities’are pictured on YouTube and Twitter. You can hear my talk and see the presentation that accompanied it here.
Listen through til the end if you can (or indeed just skip to about an hour in) because I got some great questions afterwards. It was a privilege to speak as such an energy-filled event – thankyou to my hosts Matt Hannah, Eberhard Rothfuss and Jan Hutta.
I don’t have the time to do much more than report on a few things at the moment, so here’s a link to the website of the newly-formed Digital Geographies Working Group of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers.
The Group recently asked for sessions it could sponsor at the annual RGS/IBG conference this summer. We ended up with twelve sessions, which you can (or will shortly be able to) explore here. Do consider submitting a paper to the session organisers – the deadline is 6 February for most of them.