The papers, in this special issue, represent a range of entry points for examining the dynamics of power in the operationalisation of the smart city concept in different contexts. The intention is to examine how smart cities produce and engage power, as a way of normalising the structural and social violence inherent in urban transformations across the world.
This paper examines the ‘future’ as a blueprint for social power relations in postcolonial urbanism. It addresses a crucial gap in the rich scholarship on postcolonial urbanism that has largely ignored the ‘centrality of time’ (Chakrabarty, 2000) in the politics and speed of urban transformations.
This paper pays attention to the immense and febrile field of digital image files which picture the smart city as they circulate on the social media platform Twitter. The paper considers tweeted images as an affective field in which flow and colour are especially generative.
Critical commentaries have often treated the smart city as a potentially problematic ‘top down’ tendency within policy-making and urban planning, which appears to serve the interests of already powerful corporate and political actors. This article, however, positions the smart city as significant in its implicit rejection of the strong normativity of traditional technologies of planning, in favour of an ontology of efficiency and emergence.
This article examines the mobilisation of spatial media technologies for digitally mapping informal settlements. It argues that digital mapping operates politically through a re-configuration of circulation, power, and territorial formations.
This paper articulates the subversive and political potential of an object-orientated view of urban creativity. Drawing upon object-orientated philosophies, it further develops the political and subversive potential of the creativity rhetoric to argue that nonhuman material agency is an important factor in propelling subversive behaviour into sustained political change.
This paper examines the infrastructure of marine spatial planning via two ocean data portals recently created to support marine spatial planning on the East Coast of the United States. Applying theories of ontological politics, critical cartography, and a critical conceptualization of “care,” we examine portal performances in order to link their organization and imaging practices with the ideological and ontological work these infrastructures do, particularly in relation to environmental and human community actors.
In Uqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven, Nunavut), we worked with Uqsuqtuurmiut (people of Uqsuqtuuq) on local priorities of caribou and well-being.
In this article we discuss the precarities induced by the threat of home demolitions in occupied Palestine. Drawing on fieldwork from four separate sites, the discussion begins by showing how the threat of demolition exposes Palestinians to a powerfully affective future of a violence that will arrive at an uncertain time.