An event in the series Copenhagen Landscape Lectures, fall 2016 – Critical issues concerning Eco-cities, smart cities, sustainable cities.
Federico Cugurullo + Maria Hellström Reimer
Public lectures with Maria Hellström Reimer, Professor in Design Theory and Practice, Malmö University and Federico Cogurullo, Assistant Professor in Smart and Sustainable Urbanism, Trinity College Dublin.
10. November 16.30 Montichello, Rolighedsvej 23, Frederiksberg C
Revealing experimental smart cities
The Frankenstein City and the Sustainability Challenges of De-composed Urbanism
In recent years, the world has seen the emergence of a number of urban projects developed under the banner of urban experimentation. Developers and stakeholders hail them as bringers of change and as the key to the creation of spaces of sustainability. Among these supposedly innovative urban development projects, smart-city initiatives stand out in terms of geographical diffusion. Yet, despite their popularity, there is little evidence of their actual sustainability potential. Through the analysis of the urbanisation of Hong Kong, example of a smart-city agenda, this paper explores and questions the sustainability of so-called smart cities, putting analytical emphasis on how urban nature is understood, planned and designed. More specifically, the lecture counterclaims mainstream understandings of smart urbanism, arguing that what are promoted as cohesive settlements shaped by a homogenous vision of the sustainable city, are actually fragmented cities whose sustainability is undermined by discontinuous planning schemes underpinned by a Modernist perception of nature. Theoretically, these claims are explained through the concept of de-composed urbanism which draws upon Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein as a metaphor for unsuccessful experiments generated by the forced union of different, incompatible elements.
Dr Federico Cugurullo is Assistant Professor in Smart and Sustainable Urbanism, Department of Geography, Trinity College Dublin
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