As avid readers, we wanted to start a community for fellow techies to get together once a month in a quaint London pub for real ales and real conversation about real books! So we did…
Each month, we put a vote out for our members to choose a book from a shortlist of five, for us to discuss at the upcoming event. The event will be announced within a week of the previous one, along with the shortlist.
We have a great following already via email. You can sign up for email updates here.
There’s also a Facebook group where you can join in the discussion with other members, which you can join here.
We look forward to seeing you!
Our first TechTech Book Club is due to take place on 10 October 2018, at the Boot and Flogger pub in London. Please feel free to join us, whether you’ve read the book or not (though preferably, please do!) for a relaxed and friendly chat about tech and the burning issues facing us in this wave of massive technological disruption.
At this event, we will be discussing the book below…
By Simon Marvin, Andres Luque-Ayala and Colin McFarlane
Promises an in-depth discussion of the practicalities and implications of the smart cities phenomenon, the capabilities and developments being worked on, and the problems being solved.
Smart Urbanism (SU) – the rebuilding of cities through the integration of digital technologies with buildings, neighbourhoods, networked infrastructures and people – is being represented as a unique emerging ‘solution’ to the majority of problems faced by cities today. SU discourses, enacted by technology companies, national governments and supranational agencies alike, claim a supremacy of urban digital technologies for managing and controlling infrastructures, achieving greater effectiveness in managing service demand and reducing carbon emissions, developing greater social interaction and community networks, providing new services around health and social care etc. Smart urbanism is being represented as the response to almost every facet of the contemporary urban question.
This book explores this common conception of the problematic of smart urbanism and critically address what new capabilities are being created by whom and with what exclusions; how these are being developed – and contested; where is this happening both within and between cities; and, with what sorts of social and material consequences. The aim of the book is to identify and convene a currently fragmented and disconnected group of researchers, commentators, developers and users from both within and outside the mainstream SU discourse, including several of those that adopt a more critical perspective, to assess ‘what’ problems of the city smartness can address
The volume provides the first internationally comparative assessment of SU in cities of the global north and south, critically evaluates whether current visions of SU are able to achieve their potential; and then identifies alternative trajectories for SU that hold radical promise for reshaping cities.
I’ve also found a few good bits of extra reading around the title, which you may wish to consider alongside the book itself…