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    Anticipatory logics of the global smart city imaginary

    James Merricks, White (2015) Anticipatory logics of the global smart city imaginary. Working Paper. SSRN.

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    The smart city encompasses a broad range of technological innovations which might be applied to any city for a broad range of reasons. In this article, I make a distinction between local efforts to effect the urban landscape, and a global smart city imaginary which those efforts draw upon and help sustain. While attention has been given to the malleability of the smart city concept at this global scale, there remains little effort to interrogate the way that the future is used to sanction specific solutions. Through a critical engagement with smart city marketing materials, industry documents and consultancy reports, I explore how the future is recruited, rearranged and represented as a rationalisation for technological intervention in the present. This is done across three recurring crises: massive demographic shifts and subsequent resource pressure; global climate change; and the conflicting demands of fiscal austerity and the desire of many cities to attract foreign direct investment and highly-skilled workers. In revealing how crises are pre-empted, precautioned and prepared for, I argue that the smart city imaginary normalises a style and scale of response deemed appropriate under liberal capitalism.

    Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
    Additional Information: Suggested citation: White, James, Anticipatory Logics of the Global Smart City Imaginary (August 26, 2015). Available at SSRN: or The research for this paper was provided by a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award, ‘The Programmable City’ (ERC-2012-AdG-323636)
    Keywords: smart cities; the urban age; anticipation; risk; NIRSA; Programmable City;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > National Institute for Regional and Spatial analysis, NIRSA
    Item ID: 9366
    Depositing User: James White
    Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2018 13:48
    Publisher: SSRN
    Funders: European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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