Half a century ago, the television and communication technology was debated between apocalyptic visions and integrated-optimistic opinions. Today, we debate technological innovation in the same way: are Information and Communication damaging social relations or are instead an opportunity to build a new, better, society? This question is at the center of any technological innovation and we should not stop to ask it. What is the impact, and are opportunities and risks of ICTs for contemporary cities?
With amongst others:
After three decades of innovation in ICTs, we see two today two different ways to link technology and cities. On the one hand, ICTs are becoming unavoidable, or even driving tools in understanding, mapping and planning cities and regions. Sometimes are used as evocative ‘solutions’ to undefined problems. In this case, ICTs are instrument used by planners, architects, politicians and large corporations to map human relations. On the other hand, we see that technology is becoming increasingly ‘popular’ or ‘democratic’ , offering opportunities to large groups of individuals to raise demands and voices about urban spaces. These practices stress the emancipatory capacity of ICTs for creative innovation and better urban citizenship.
These trends are usually, and mistakenly, combined under one elusive idea of smart cities, smart urbanism and or smart communities. It is this very notion that this evening debate tries to problematize: we will debate the different urban, social and economic implications of ICTs and try to find out together under which spatial, social and economic conditions technology can be truly inclusive.
The evening is organized by the University of Amsterdam in cooperation with Pakhuis de Zwijger and Waag Society, within the frame of the yearly Masterstudio Urban Planning.