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Dr Richmond Juvenile Ehwi and Dr Hannah Holmes presented their work on problem-framing in UK Smart Cities at the II Digital Geographies Conference in October 2021.

The presentation considered how areas of focus – or verticals – for smart initiatives are selected by those involved in urban governance. They identified several factors which shape the selection of verticals, including labour precarity, entrepreneurialism, and where smart city governance sits within overall urban governance structures. The perceived imperative to attract investment which is implicit in neoliberal urban governance was often drawn upon as an ethical reference to justify decision-making. The presentation concluded that the factors which shape vertical selection are embedded in broader neoliberal shifts in the urban governance landscape, and that more work is needed in order to draw out in more detail the logics and processes which underpin decision-making in smart cities.

Publication Date

October 2021