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The Smart Publics project focused on the introduction and usage of smart kiosks and benches. The project explored public perceptions of the BT InLink kiosks and the Strawberry Energy smart benches, and identified emerging issues for the design and governance of these. The small-scale one year project was carried out by an interdisciplinary research team from the Universities of Glasgow and Sydney. The project was funded through the ‘Partnership Collaboration Awards’ between the University of Sydney and the University of Glasgow. The project ran from February 2019 to May 2020.
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Studies of digital disparities have focused on socio-spatial differences across neighbourhoods, regions and other kinds of places, but the same place can produce different experiences of connectivity, a phenomenon labelled ‘variable geometries of connection’ by Crang, Crosbie and Graham (2006: 2551) [2006. Crang, M., Crosbie, T., & Graham, S. Variable geometries of connection: Urban digital divides and the uses of information technology. Urban Studies, 43(13), 2551–2570]. In this paper, I draw on research on the role of mobile phones and the internet for people experiencing homelessess in Australia to suggest that dependence on smartphones for access to information and communication when homeless, in combination with the design and regulation of urban spaces, structures the mobilities of homeless young people, resulting in distinctive connectivity needs and barriers. Homeless young people overcome many of their immediate difficulties of digital access through practices of ‘survival infrastructuring’, a term I propose to describe the practices of marginalised actors to make their media work in the face of uneven, precarious and costly connectivity. Highlighting these connectivity experiences and practices may help efforts to take action on digital exclusion and assist homeless young people by taking into account differential access needs within specific spatial and social contexts. I make this argument drawing on findings from two studies carried out between 2014 and 2016 on the access and use of the internet and mobile phones among homeless Australians.
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The era of the smart city has arrived. Only a decade ago, the promise of optimising urban services through the widespread application of information and communication technologies was largely a techno-utopian fantasy. Today, smart urbanisation is occurring via urban projects, policies and visions in hundreds of cities around the globe. Inside Smart Cities provides real world evidence on how local authorities, small and medium enterprises, corporations, utility providers and civil society groups are creating smart cities at the neighbourhood, city and regional scales. Twenty-one empirically detailed case studies from the Global North and South, ranging from Cape Town, Stockholm, and Abu Dhabi to Philadelphia, Hong Kong, and Santiago, illustrate the multiple and diverse incarnations of smart urbanism. The contributors draw on ideas from urban studies, geography, urban planning, science and technology studies and innovation studies to go beyond the rhetoric of technological innovation and reveal the political, social and physical implications of digitising the built environment. Collectively, the practices of smart urbanism raise fundamental questions about the sustainability, liveability and resilience of the cities in the future. The findings are relevant to academics, students, practitioners and urban stakeholders who are questioning how urban innovation relates to politics and place.
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The smart city has become a main prism through which urban futures are viewed. With it comes the promise of big data technology enabling more resource-efficient urban systems and improved governance. Increasingly, however, this technocentric view is being challenged, at least rhetorically, by seeking to place people at the heart of smart city development. Yet, especially in the case of the UK, such development typically takes place within a governance context which marginalises established planning and decision processes, thus arguably weakening public accountability. Moreover, the norms of engagement change in that citizens are assigned more of an entrepreneurial role as co-producers of data-driven information. It becomes necessary, therefore, to reconsider as well as reinvigorate the place of the public in the future city. This article seeks to do so by making the case, on one hand, for strengthening institutional frameworks and, on the other, advancing a more active role for citizens to become involved in actualising and scrutinising future cities.
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The aim of the project Making Connections was to work with homeless young people to find out more about their connectivity issues and develop solutions for making it easier and safer to access digital technology and the support needed to move out of homelessness. We involved young people who have recently been homeless in the innovation process, recognising that the knowledge and insights gained through their experiences are vital for creating meaningful and relevant solutions.
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This paper focuses on the smart urbanism that is being crafted by local authorities in metropolitan Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. Offering an extensive analysis of the Australian context, we chart firstly how engagement with smart is primarily focused on improving quotidian local government functions. Second, our analysis of the diverse mechanisms and policies through which cities are being made smart shows that piecemeal initiatives rather than smart city strategies predominate in the two cities. There is a variegated geography of smart urbanism in these two cities, we conclude, that is incrementally rather than radically transforming cities and their governance. 本文着重考察澳大利亚悉尼和墨尔本市政府建设智能城市的努力。作者分析了澳大利亚的整体状况,进而指出政府的智 能化建设主要着眼于改善地方政府的日常功能。随后分析了建设智能城市的各种机制和政策,指出悉尼和墨尔本都采用 了积少成多的策略,而不是一步到位地建设。最后文章指出这两个城市及其治理的智能化如同星星之火,而不是激进的转化。
Austerity, the sustained and widespread cuts to government budgets, has characterised Britain’s public policy since 2010. The local state has undergone substantial restructuring, driven by major budget reductions from central government. Hitherto, few studies of austerity in the UK have considered the interplay of national and local policies. We contribute a fine-grained spatial analysis of local authority budgets, highlighting their socioeconomically and geographically uneven impacts. We identify substantial variations between authorities in terms of funding, local tax-base, fiscal resources, assets, political control, service-need and demographics. We argue that austerity has actively reshaped the relationship between central and local government in Britain, shrinking the capacity of the local state, increasing inequality between local governments and exacerbating territorial injustice.
Chapter
Abstract Spanning the bustle of George Street and the solemnity of Macquarie Street, Martin Place in Sydney's city centre boasts many features associated with the 'public': a wide pedestrian boulevard; an Australia Post outlet; war memorials; sculptures, fountains and seating; and a railway station. Martin Place is also home to Australia's financial powerhouses: the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Macquarie Bank, along with the Sydney headquarters of many global firms and the United States consulate. Martin Place hosts the studios and offices of the Seven television network, forming the backdrop to morning television shows and news broadcasts, as well as being a site for open-air events like Fashion Week, brand launches, concerts and protests. In such a way, corporate interest and myriad practices of sociality are co-located in this public space, appearing to consolidate in what is often described as 'the civic heart of Sydney' (Meacham 2007). But a more dynamic and contested version of 'publicness' exists in Martin Place than its surface renderings would suggest. In this chapter, we ponder these other public expressions: the visible and invisible meanings and practices through which publicness is performed and legitimized at Martin Place. In particular, we want to know how staying in place is enabled in this contradictorily civic and corporate space, in order to consider who can stay in a public place, and who has to move on, and when. The uses of Martin Place by mobile workers, Occupy movement activists and people experiencing homelessness are all instances of place-making that can be understood through different tactics of being 'at home'. These expressions of home rub against, disrupt and invite expanded versions of publicness, both in terms of understanding Martin Place as a localized case of city-centred publicness and in extrapolating its significance for identifying the limits and potential of public spaces in global cities generally. In reflecting on how people stay in place, in public, this chapter is in dialogue with the literature on mobilities (e.g. Larsen et al. 2006; Sheller and Urry 2006), on the planning and governance of city spaces (e.g. Iveson 2007; Amin 2008; Humphreys 2010) and on cultures and geographies of home and home-making (e.g. Tolia-Kelly 2013; Baxter and Brickell 2014; Burrell 2014). We acknowledge the way in which Sydney - in particular its central spaces designated for public use - has become the recent focus of 'creative' transformation and renewal (City of Sydney 2014) and note the opportunity this represents for opening up a new dialogue on issues of exclusion from and inclusion in revitalized city spaces.
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This book develops a surveillance studies approach to social media by presenting first hand ethnographic research with a variety of personal and professional social media users. Using Facebook as a case-study, it describes growing monitoring practices that involve social media. What makes this study unique is that it not only considers social media surveillance as multi-purpose, but also shows how these different purposes augment one another, leading to a rapid spread of surveillance and visibility.
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In this work, Bridgette Wessels offers a unique insight into the ways in which core public institutions and powerful organizations develop digital communications and services within the public realm. The book draws on her ethnographic research with the London Metropolitan Police Service during their engagement in an innovative project to improve communication with the public using digital technology. As one of the largest, most advanced and highly respected police services in the world, working in a socially, culturally and demographically complex city, the Metropolitan Police Service offers a highly revealing case study of technology and the human processes which it is designed to serve. The ethnographic research is used to develop a new theoretical and conceptual framework for understanding the relationship between social action and technological change, addressing the way in which technology is socially shaped and culturally informed. The book also discusses the role of ethnography as a tool for researching complex multi-perspective, multi-sited networks of the innovation of digital technologies as forms of communication in late modern western society.