Moving beyond smart and data-driven city-regions

In June 2017, the RSA Annual Conference ‘The Great Regional Awakening‘ brought together a variety of thinkers and practitioners to explore the growing importance of regions in shaping the social, economic and political fabric of cities and countries in Europe and beyond. This included a collaborative workshop organized by Urban Transformations and Future Cities Catapult, ‘Beyond smart and data-driven cities? Rethinking stakeholder-helixes strategies‘. The event offered a platform for participants to discuss the increasing dominance of technological perspectives on smart cities, and the ethical challenges this posed to accountable, transparent urban governance.

Building on these insights, Igor Calzada (the Urban Transformations Researcher on European knowledge exchange) and Paul Cowie (ESRC/Future Cities Catapult Research Fellow) have published an article in Regions Magazine, outlining some of the key ethnical and practical difficulties surrounding current smart approaches and the benefits of a more socially engaged perspective driven by citizens. The article is available to view here.