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Book Cover for: Designing More-Than-Human Smart Cities: Beyond Sustainability, Towards Cohabitation, Sara Heitlinger

Designing More-Than-Human Smart Cities: Beyond Sustainability, Towards Cohabitation

Sara Heitlinger

Climate change, rapid urbanisation, pandemics, as well as innovations in technologies such as blockchain, AI and IoT are all impacting urban space. One response to such changes has been to make cities ecologically sustainable and 'smart'. The 'eco smart city' for instance uses networked sensing, cloud and mobile computing to optimise, control, and regulate urban processes and resources. From real-time bus information to autonomous electric vehicles, smart parking, and smart street lighting, such initiatives are often presented as a social and environmental good.

Critics, however, increasingly argue that technologically driven, and efficiency-led approaches are too simplistic to deal with the complexities of urban life. Sustainability in the smart city is predominantly performed in limited ways that leave little room for participation and citizen agency despite government efforts to integrate innovative technologies in more equitable ways. More importantly, there is a growing awareness that a human-centred notion of cities, in which urban space is designed for, and inhabited by, humans only, is no longer tenable. Within the age of the Anthropocene - a term used to refer to a new geological era in which human activity is transforming Earth systems, accelerating climate change and causing mass extinctions - scholars and practitioners are working generatively by acknowledging the entanglements between human and non-human others (including plants, animals, insects, as well as soil, water, and sensors and their data) in urban life.

In Designing More-than-Human Smart Cities, renowned researchers and practitioners from urban planning, architecture, environmental humanities, geography, design, arts, and computing critically explore smart cities beyond a human-centred approach. They respond to the complex interrelations between human and non-human others in urban space. Through theory, policy and practice (past and present), and thinking speculatively about how smart cities may evolve in the future, the book makes a timely contribution to lively, contemporary scientific and political debates on genuinely sustainable smart cities.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publish Date: Sep 4th, 2024
  • Pages: 352
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9780192884169
  • Categories: Public Policy - City Planning & Urban DevelopmentHuman-Computer Interaction (HCI)Human Geography

About the Author

Sara Heitlinger, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design, City, University of London, Marcus Foth, Professor of Urban Informatics, School of Design, Queensland University of Technology, Rachel Clarke, Course Leader, BA Design for Climate Justice, Design School, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London

Sara Heitlinger is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, in the Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design at City, University of London. For over ten years she has been researching at the intersections of urban sustainability, computation, and participatory design. Drawing on methods from the arts and humanities, she is motivated to find ways to co-design more just and inclusive smart cities, with the help of digital technologies. She has led a number of collaborative research projects in these topics including: https: // and https: //

Marcus Foth is a Professor of Urban Informatics in the School of Design and a Chief Investigator in the QUT Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC), Faculty of Creative Industries, Education, and Social Justice, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. For more than two decades, Marcus has led ubiquitous computing and interaction design research into interactive digital media, screen, mobile and smart city applications. Marcus founded the Urban Informatics Research Lab in 2006 and the QUT Design Lab in 2016. He is a founding member of the QUT More-than-Human Futures research group. Marcus is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society and the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Distinguished Member of the international Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and currently serves on Australia's national College of Experts.

Rachel Clarke is a design researcher and practitioner combining visual communication with qualitative research, performance and storytelling focussed on the climate emergency, sustainability and social inequality. She has exhibited work internationally and co-authored research papers across design research, human-computer interaction (HCI), and social sciences. She is course leader of the BA (Hons) Design for Climate Justice, an innovative new course that develops student skills in diverse design practices for climate action and changemaking at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. She is a member of DEFRA's Futures Advisory Group informing UK agricultural and environmental policy and practice.