PODCAST: Rebooting smart cities for social justice and digital inclusion

Visions of the ‘smart city’ and ‘internet of things (IOT)’ drive an acceleration of the incorporation of digital technologies into the urban environment, directing the aims and agendas of government and large corporations at various levels in many cities around the world. Conspicuously absent in many templates for smart cities are the key issues of social justice, digital inclusion, and sustainability, for a range of people who live in cities. There is also little recognition in smart city discussions that vast numbers of everyday urban interactions and processes are already heavily mediated and managed, producing new forms and uses of data, urban experiences and social and digital inequalities. In this interactive workshop, we discuss how to reimagine and reshape the smart city agenda – and other digital city visions – for fairer, democratic futures, and better city life for all. A panel of experts from across research, planning, local government, and technology sectors will explore issues and map out priorities with attendees, such as new access barriers to sensors, platforms and infrastructures, dataveillance and profiling, differential mobilities, data exclusion, super- connected vs un/under-connected zones, digital labour and rights to the digital city.

Panellists: Kurt Iveson, Associate Professor of Urban Geography in the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney; Marcus Foth, Director of the QUT Design Lab, founder of the Urban Informatics Research Lab, and Professor in Interactive & Visual Design, School of Design, Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology; Pauline McGuirk, Professor of Human Geography, University of Wollongong; Robyn Dowling, Associate Dean Research and Professor of Urbanism in the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney; Nathaniel Bavinton, Smart City Coordinator at the City of Newcastle; Jamie Cauchi, leads the Victorian Government’s Connected Cities and Public Wi-Fi program; Sarah Barns, Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University and Smart City advisor.