Upcoming Events

Jan 19 2019 Symposium /

Urban IQ Test Symposium

9:30 AM - 4:30 PM

John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design
1 Spadina Crescent



9:30 am | Introduction
Dean Richard Sommer, Daniels

9:45 am -11:15 am | Panel One

Marshall Brown, Princeton, Director CAUI
David Benjamin, Columbia, The Living
Michael Piper, Daniels
Sarah Williams, MIT, Director, Civic Data Design Lab
others, tbd
-moderator, Jesse LeCavalier, Daniels

The programs and projects that occur at the intersection between architecture and smart technologies are diffuse and diverse in genre, scale, and sophistication. This panel will present a series of snapshots of contemporary case studies that will help establish a context and material basis for the more historical and politically oriented discussions that will follow.

11:30 am -1:00 pm | Panel Two

Sara Stevens, UBC
David Smiley, Columbia
Orit Halpern, Concordia
–moderator, John Harwood, Daniels

This panel will explore varied histories of the smart city. Perhaps because the smart city is positioned as inextricably tied to digital technology and data collection protocols less than a generation old, and is the manifestation of a planning and commercial ethos that is future-focused, missing from current debates are the varied historical phenomena and discourses which have shaped our understanding of what constitutes “smart.” Definitions change depending on the disciplinary, ideological, commercial, and geopolitical contexts in which the term is used. Prefacing “intelligent,” “digital,” “green,” “sustainable,” or “smarter” to “city” legitimizes particular actions and actors in the changing global landscape. Such terms indicate the often-ambiguous meanings and goals of the smart city movement, and this panel offers a window into the ways different historical trajectories reveal other motives, concerns, and assumptions about what the so-called Smart City might accomplish.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Break

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm | Panel Three

Shannon Mattern, The New School
Anthony Acciavatti, Yale & Columbia
Gökçe Günel, University of Arizona
–moderator, Michael Sorkin, Michael Sorkin Studio, City College, NYC

This panel will explore the politics of the smart city concept and movement. The smart city is typically presented as a highly integrated hardware and software platform of technological tools meant to facilitate faster, more responsive and efficient forms of urban communication, provision of human services, and resource management, i.e., a universally adaptable, politically-neutral solution with the potential to improve quality-of-life across all social sectors in an increasingly urbanizing globe. Yet there is a different historical evolution, and in the political structures and economies of production that govern the “hardware” of the city — constructed landscapes and resources, including water, energy, transit infrastructure, buildings (and the logistics of delivering them) — and the “software” of the city — social policies/engagement/inclusion, commerce, education, health services, etc. Not only do the rates of innovation in, and integration of smart technology differ across “hard” and “soft” realms, but there are radical differences in the way individuals and groups might gain access to a smarter city within “hard” and “soft” aspects of the world’s regions, nations, and cities. The political agency of citizens and citizenry in conceptualizing and harnessing the benefits of the smart city, and correspondingly, who builds, controls and profits from it, raises the thorny question of whose lives the smart city promises to improve, and in what ways.

3:30 pm – pm 4:30 | Closing Remarks

This event is part of the Home and Away lecture series at the Daniels Faculty.