Andrea Pollio

Andrea Pollio
University of Cape Town | UCT · African Centre for Cities

Phd
Researching the digital Silk Road in Nairobi, Kenya.

About

28
Publications
2,959
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
157
Citations
Introduction
My research interests are situated at the intersection of STS, urban studies and development economics.I hold a PhD from the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. My work explores the interface between technology economies, development and urbanization in Africa. I am currently the recipient of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship (grant 886772) for a research project that addresses the impact of private Chinese technology companies in Nairobi's Silicon Savannah.

Publications

Publications (28)
Article
Full-text available
Silicon alleys, hills, peaks, beaches, savannahs, islands, lagoons and gulfs have mushroomed across cities of all continents, in the hope of fuelling profitable, innovative startup hubs. These Silicon-Valley replicas deploy economic theories, managerial fads, success stories and best practices that are metonymically linked to Northern California, b...
Article
Full-text available
A lot has changed in the global machine of international development since its inception, but the language of technological acceleration remains ubiquitous today. In this paper, I trace one of the lineages of this new acceleration in the post-dotcom boom Silicon Valley. Informed by the technophilic culture of what Richard Barbrook and the late Andy...
Article
Full-text available
Recent interest by human geographers and urban scholars in the spatialities of platform companies such as Uber and Airbnb has generated a wealth of contributions on platform urbanism – a concept that captures the urbanization of algorithmic business models and sharing economies. This article explores the interface between platform-mediated labour o...
Article
Full-text available
Technology incubators are one of the infrastructural ends at the urban frontiers of capital. When built in areas of poverty in cities of the Global South, these hubs cultivate entrepreneurialism and opportunities for profit at the intersection of development and technological innovation. They promise to address the social challenges of urban margin...
Article
Full-text available
In Cape Town, as in other cities of the Global South, the paradigms of millennial development are continuously mobilised in specific material ways. The idea that poverty can be fought with profit is manifest in a series of urban experiments that involve informal entrepreneurs, corporations, real estate developers, local architects, economists, NGOs...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Africa’s development requires substantial investment in infrastructure systems, such as water, energy and telecommunications. These systems are essential in ensuring that contemporary processes, such as industrialisation and urbanisation, can be leveraged to create real and sustained value for cities, countries, regions and global networks. One of...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Increasingly recognised as a pivotal infrastructure for inclusive economic development and social justice in Africa, information and communication technology is a fundamental component of the continent’s infrastructure budget. DFIs, such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank, have long included digital infrastructure and connectivity p...
Technical Report
Full-text available
While technological innovation is often associated with cities like San Francisco or Bangalore, several African cities are experiencing an agglomeration of ICT related companies. Both Kigali and Nairobi have been dubbed ‘Silicon Savannahs’, celebrated for their adoption of smart city programmes and projects. In these two cities, this research explo...
Article
Full-text available
From innovations in mobile money to bookkeeping devices, the burgeoning of financial-technologies (fintech) in the Global South has been critiqued by scholars concerned with financialization, datafication, and recently, neo-coloniality. While sympathetic to these concerns, this paper argues for a more descriptive, ambivalent, and urban reading of t...
Article
Full-text available
ultimi 20 anni, esperienze e pratiche di ricerca etnografica si sono progressivamente affermate nella ricerca geografica fino a diventarne una componente fondamentale. Eppure ‘fare etnografia' in geografia non è certo né scontato: richiede un adattamento alle esigenze e agli obiettivi della riflessione geografica, ma anche alla complessità del 'cam...
Article
Full-text available
Many have argued that the technocratic apparatus of development is sustained-and not undermined-by its fallacies. Building on previous failures, development experts envision new plans, new analytical tools and new modes of governance. One recent example is the bottom of the pyramid approach (BOP), a development doctrine predi-cated on the failure o...
Article
Full-text available
Artists and creative workers have long been recognized as playing an important role in gentrification, being often portrayed as forerunners of urban change and displacement in former industrial and working-class suburbs of 'post-Fordist' cities. However, as is well represented by recent research, the relationship between the arts, gentrification an...
Article
Full-text available
Acknowledged as urgent and complex, the communication of environmental science is at once an outcome and a subject of academic research. In this article, we detail the results of workshops with young residents of five “Antarctic gateway cities” (Hobart, Christchurch, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, and Cape Town) who helped design and evaluate an online gam...
Article
Recent literature on Antarctic futures includes sobering scenarios for the Southern Polar region in the era of Anthropogenic climate change. Contrasting current trajectories with what might be accomplished through appropriate policies and stewardship, such studies acknowledge that change involves more than exhortation through scholarly venues of co...
Chapter
This chapter charts the background, the implementation, and the aftermath of #nevicata14, an experiment of smart tactical urbanism in Milan. The aim of the experiment was to foreground the possibility of pedestrianizing a large monumental square, which had long been used as a busy car intersection. The chapter shows how tactical urbanism projects,...
Article
Full-text available
In this commentary, we reflect on the limitations, somber difficulties, and possibilities of new geographies of care that have emerged as a result of our limited personal geographies during the time of COVID-19.
Article
Full-text available
The sharing economy, often phrased as ‘platform capitalism’, enables firms such as Uber and Airbnb to monetize, through specific technologies of mediation, the networks, the assets and the precarious labour of those who are described as ‘the entrepreneurs of sharing’. This article explores the urban geographies of ride‐sharing in the marketization...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report was commissioned to assist the Inner West Council in developing a greater understanding of the nature and extent of future needs for creative space in the local government area (LGA), with a focus on infrastructure for cultural creation and production. The research focuses on the relationships between artists, creators, their activities...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This research was commissioned to assist the City of Sydney in developing an up-to-date, wide-ranging understanding of its future needs for creative space, especially with regard to cultural creation and production. Most studies of creative space tend to focus on the material aspects of cultural venues and infrastructure, such as capacity, design o...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter we consider the approaches and techniques that global cities researchers use to research the often secretive, heavily capitalized interventions in urban space by global ‘urban’firms. By focusing on ‘global urbanists’, our aim is to take a purposely wider view than is sometimes the case in the urban policy literature. Notwithstanding...
Article
Full-text available
Este artículo está relacionado con la racionalidad discursiva de la “ciudad inteligente”, en el contexto en el cual se convirtió en una poderosa narrativa de cambio urbano durante la crisis en Italia - justo después de la primera etapa de la crisis en Europa, en 2011-2012. Mientras que el concepto funciona como un significante vago que podría ser u...
Article
Full-text available
In the heyday of the late 2000s financial crisis, austerity urbanism became a dominant practice of state financial restructuring—an intensification in the encroachment of the neoliberal project into the agendas of local governments. In the specific case of Italy, which faced political and economic distress between 2011 and 2013, “smart city” polici...
Book
Full-text available
Il volume esamina il paradigma della smart city affrontando due ordini di problemi: (i) qual è l'origine della smart city e (ii) quanto le pratiche smart si differenzino o meno dalla maniera tradizionale (e neoliberista) di pensare e trasformare la città

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (7)
Project
The ‘platform economy’ is better understood not as a technological innovation but as an organising principle of political economy. This proposed study aims to advance our understanding on how platforms transcends sectoral (technological, legislative, economic) and territorial (areal, regional, national) boundaries and reshape the social, economic, and (geo)political production of life. First, we are interested in the international political economy of platforms, meaning how platform companies transcend sectoral and territorial boundaries to gain, exercise and justify their power. We will examine the tension between the state’s territorial sovereignty and ‘functional sovereignty’ that platforms advocate and claim on the basis of infrastructural power. Second, we are interested in the organisation, experience, and meaning of platform labour in the ‘platform economy’ as a post-Fordist regime of capital accumulation, where an accumulation regime refers to the relationship between the organisation of production and consumption on global and local scales, including the political struggle and negotiation involved in constructing, controlling, reproducing this relationship.
Project
Addressing the urban interfaces and the spatializazions of altgorithmic business models