Luis Carvalho, University of Porto; Portugal

Luís Carvalho is senior researcher at the Centre of Studies in Geography and Spatial Planning, based at the University of Porto. He conducts research on urban economic development a airs and economic geography. Current research focuses on urban sustainability transitions and smart city innovation.

Smart Cities: from grand visions to everyday innovation practices

During the last decade, several so-called “smart city” innovations – such as digital meters, sensors, data platforms and city apps – have been deployed in cities. While they promise to make cities cleaner, more e cient and inclusive, such grand visions paid little attention to the everyday practices, processes and ecologies through which smart city innovations emerge and travel; to how they gain (or lose) traction; and to how these dimensions in uence their ability to e ectively tackle urban sustainability problems.

In this lecture, it will be argued that a starting point to address these issues is to frame smart city development as a socio-technical transition, in which technological learning ecologies co-evolve with the formation of new networks and expectations. However, these processes are not encapsulated in cities only: they draw on nuanced geographies. Hence, it will be also claimed that under- standing the “upscaling” of smart city innovations requires approaches that highlight not (only) the travel of solutions, but also of the ways in which urban problems become framed and interpreted across cities.