Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Ringvorlesung: Prof. Dr. Christoph Raetzsch (Aarhus University) spricht zu "Smart City Visions in the United States and Europe: From Vertical to Horizontal Spaces

18.12.2019 | 18:00 - 20:00

The vision of the smart city has become a dominant paradigm of urban development. Typically, it emphasises the installation of large-scale sensor networks in urban spaces in combination with real-time analytics of big data. Especially large US corporations like Alphabet, Cisco, and IBM market integrated solution suites to city officials and municipalities all over the world.

This technocratic vision of the smart city arose in the wake of the financial crisis (2008) when city governments were forced to find new ways of offering efficient citizen services with shrinking budgets. Corporate players suggested to simply integrate more data sources from a vertical perspective on city life and unleash the future-making powers of AI and Big Data, for the wellbeing of the citizens.

Of course the corporate vision of the smart city underestimates the local specificities and political dependencies in  cities. The dominant critique of this smart city vision therefore focuses on dismantling corporate solutionism to urban problems. Contrary to  this corporate vision of the smart city, a European path towards equitable, inclusive, and sustainable city governance has been shaped by reaching out to multiple stakeholder groups. This European approach is centrally concerned with the  Living  Lab, as both a methodology of innovation and a space of participatory governance along the horizontal access of different sectors and interests.

This talk will present both kinds of visions in a comparative framework to outline that the smart city vision is not an abstract vision of a remote future, but an ongoing social, political, and economic negotiation of what smartness does in the present.

The talk will be in English. Questions can be asked and answered in German following the talk.



Christoph Raetzsch ist Associate Professor für Journalistik und Digitale Methoden und assozierter Forscher im Centre for Digital Transformation in Cities and Communities (DITCOM) an der Universität Aarhus (Dänemark). Zu seinen Forschungsschwerpunkten zählen digitaler Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit, Geschichte und Theorie von (digitalen) Medien, sowie Logiken technologischer Systeme. Er forscht im Rahmen von "Infrastrukturen von Öffentlichkeiten" zu Prozessen öffentlicher Kommunikation an der Schnittstelle von sozialen Medien, digitalen Stadträumen und neuen journalistischen Konzepten. Zuvor war er Research Fellow am Weizenbaum Institut Berlin, Postdoc im EU-geförderten Projekt OrganiCity an der Universität Aarhus (2017-18). Er promovierte 2014 an der Graduiertenschule für Nordamerikastudien der Freien Universität Berlin zum technologischen Wandel im amerikanischen Journalismus im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert.

Zeit & Ort

18.12.2019 | 18:00 - 20:00

Freie Universität Berlin
Habelschwerdter Allee 45
Hs 1b Hörsaal