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Digital Polis

Digital Polis

City versus digital: stakes of a project conjugated in future

La ville face au numérique : enjeux d’un projet conjugué au futur

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Published on Friday, July 11, 2014 by João Fernandes

Summary

This colloquium aims at contributing to the development of understanding the social dynamics and policies that arise at the crossing point between digital concepts and contemporary urban city as a context. Considering the city as active support of a political and social space mirroring the Greek polis, this scientific event will be registered in anthropology of the relation between “city” and “digital”. Perspectives on dual aspects of this study will focus on the different concepts that characterize their relationships and the stakeholders who are involved. How are the socio-political stakes of the city built through the development of the notions of “digital city”, “smart city”, “city 2.0” or “contributory city”?

Announcement

Argument

This colloquium aims at contributing to the development of understanding the social dynamics and policies that arise at the crossing point between digital concepts and contemporary urban city as a context. Considering the city as active support of a political and social space mirroring the Greek polis, this scientific event will be registered in anthropology of the relation between “city” and “digital”. Perspectives on dual aspects of this study will focus on the different concepts that characterize their relationships and the stakeholders who are involved. How are the socio-political stakes of the city built through the development of the notions of “digital city”, “smart city”, “city 2.0” or “contributory city”? The first day will be devoted to archaeology of “digital city” concepts. From an epistemological point of view, recent appearances of terminology and their variations in the media invite interrogation of their meaning. Can the origins of etymology or terms strictly technical related to the city be traced? If yes, what could stay stagnant versus transformative between a historical moment and another, between one story and another?The second day will focus on transfer of these concepts into practices for the transformation of the city. Who are the stakeholders and speakers of the “digital future” of the city that incorporates these concepts? What are their stories and disciplines? How are they conceived at different scales? While polis was a model of city-state, where active public participation in the political life of all legitimate citizens was a standard, this second day wishes to analyse the design of the political and social spaces within the “digital city”. What are the modalities of action and mediation between the stakeholders to work towards achieving this common space that would be city-polis?The theme of this scientific event on the urban transformation processes will follow an anthropological approach rather than a technical one, with a main object of study being digital and the city. In a temporal regime conjugated in the future, going from concepts to stakeholders, from spaces to devices, does the intrusion of digital technologies in the city sketch a new configuration of the inhabited political and social space?

Main Themes

Theme 1
Archaeology of the digital city: concepts and stories of a project conjugated in the future tense

For less than a decade, the construction of the concept “digital city” has been manifested by the application of discourse fed by a unique rhetoric: innovation, digital revolution, new information technologies and communication, cyberspace, “smart city”, “digital ecosystem”, complexity, open data, open and social innovation, networking, collective intelligence, co-construction, e-participation...
The change of our era is marked by a group of concepts, which are crucial to be investigated from the lexical fields being used where a common - popularized - sense is forged. Re-examining and mending ties will be necessary between these basic concepts that emerge and come together in the digital lexicon similar to the archaeological discipline.
Firstly the colloquium will open a new historic approach by sketching Foucault’s genealogy of these concepts and their relationships to the project of the city at different periods. Secondly it will investigate a disciplinary approach to question the relationship between the disciplines involved: from social sciences to computing, from urban design to ecology, from political sciences to biology, etc …
Thus, how are concepts such as modernity, progress or innovation transforming when they become the echo of the contemporary city? Were these concepts, from this digital rhetoric, declined in the past, particularly in the different projections of the city? And if yes, how? Indeed, what significance does the adjective “smart” have when it is related to the city? Or was the network concept developed in its conception in the urban fabric? How is urban design declined when talking about digital, Internet and web 2.0?
In return, would there be any tradition of innovation of the city? Would the city not be generating certain technological developments including those digital?
The archaeology of the key concepts of “digital city” carried by the conference is open to proposals from the authors.


Theme 2
City facing digital: social dynamics and processes of public participation
The second theme of the colloquium focuses on stakeholders of the “digital city” trying to understand the social dynamics working in the panorama of the contemporary urban city. The development of digital technology, urban space and social dynamics seems to be closely related: what are the characteristics, similarities and distinctions that arise from the simultaneous existence of different stakehoders in an urban area? Thus the interventions seek to interrogate the different scales and stakeholders.
Third-places, fablabs, “digital neighborhoods,” cities and international influence of the “Smart city”, all these terms refer to different spatial scales, and yet they are bearers of the construction of the “digital city”. Thus, what relations and what stakes would be possible to reveal from a territorialized “digital discourse”?
From the figure of user-resident-citizen to the figure hacker-maker-entrepreneur, from the digital “urban ecosystem” to international organizations, many digital devices are now implemented in urban areas seeking the re-examination of the assigned rules for every one. What is the nature of public participation when conducted by the application of digital devices?
In a time of the projection of a “digital city”, the neutrality of technological tools and the emergence of a digital culture need to be questioned. Moreover, their output and political projects need to be formulated. Mediations tools and digital services are equipping and transforming the city, from urban co-operated platforms fuctionning on the interrogation mode to the co-conception devices of the visionning or collaborative type.
These new claimed practices with a project for the city designed by and for digital technology contain implicit or explicit political views on the city. Citizen protests in San Francisco, late 2013, in response to the mechanisms of gentrification and privatization as a result of the growing presence of international companies in Silicon Valley, seem to demonstrate a tension between urban space and social conformation. Since this kind of event, what conflicts, relationships, dialogues and deviations are initiated by a “digital strategy” for the city?
Papers may examine the social and political dynamics at work in the deployment of “digital city” from concrete case studies, from the point of view of the inhabitants, designers and public and private decision makers.

Scientific committee

  • Nicolas BENVEGNU, Medialab, Sciences Po Paris, France
  • Paola BERENSTEIN JACQUES, Laboratorio Urbano, Universidade Federal da Bahia/CNPQ, Brasil
  • Jean-Philippe CLÉMENT, Secretariat Général, Ville de Paris, France
  • Margareth DA SILVA PEREIRA, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
  • Jérôme DENIS, Telecom Paris Tech, France
  • Eric GUICHARD, ENSSIB, Université de Lyon, France
  • Sophie HOUDART, LESC, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, France
  • Sarah LABELLE, LabSIC, Université Paris 13, France
  • Alexandre MONNIN, Inria Sophia Antipolis, Wimmics, France
  • Marianna D’OVIDIO, Università degli Studi Milano Bicocca, Italy
  • Sophie PÈNE, Conseil National du Numérique, France
  • Antoine PICON, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, United-States
  • Pascal ROBERT, ENSSIB, Université de Lyon, France
  • Saskia SASSEN, Columbia University, New-York, United-States
  • Serena VICARI, Università degli Studi Milano Bicocca, Italy 

Organisers

  • Alessia de Biase, Architect-urban planner HDR in anthropology, PhD en anthropology EHESS LAA Scientific Director
  • Nancy Ottaviano, Architect-urban planner, PhD candidate in Urban Studies and Planning - ED 395 MCSPP, University Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense
  • Ornella Zaza, Communication designer, Doctorante in Urban Studies and Planning - ED 395 MCSPP, University Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense 

Calendar

  • Call for Papers: 7 June 2014
  • Deadline for receiving proposals (2000 characters): 29 September 2014

  • Results (by the Scientific Committee): 17 November 2014
  • Colloquium dates: 29-30-31 January 2015
  • Deadline for articles submission: 31 March 2015
  • Article review (the organizing committee): 5 June 2015
  • Returning final papers: 3 July 2015
  • Output of the publication of the proceedings: October / November 2015

Submission guidelines

We strongly encourage various actors to respond to this call : researchers, PhD students, faculty members and operational or institutional stakeholders.

Format of response to the call for papers is of 2000 characters including spaces, excluding bibliography, as .doc files. Proposals should be anonymous to allow double-blind reviews by members of the scientific committee.

Proposals are to be sent, before the 29th of September 2014, to the following email address digitalpolis2015@gmail.com.

Web Site : http://digitalpolis.org

Date(s)

  • Monday, September 29, 2014

Keywords

  • numérique, anthropologie, ville

Contact(s)

  • staff Digital Polis
    courriel : digitalpolis2015 [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Polis Digital
    courriel : digitalpolis2015 [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« Digital Polis », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, July 11, 2014, https://calenda.org/292874

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