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LSE Cities appoints Adam Greenfield as Senior Urban Fellow

LSE Cities is delighted to announce Adam Greenfield as our 2014 Senior Urban Fellow.

Adam will be in residence at LSE Cities until October 2014 during which he will lead and develop a project that integrates LSE Cities’ work on cities with his own areas of research and interest. Adam will teach in the city design studio (a core element of the Masters in City Design and Social Science), take part in regular PhD seminars, organise workshops and public seminars, and contribute to on-going research initiatives. This will culminate in a publication (or similar multi-media output), which documents the process and intellectual outcomes of his residency.

Adam’s work is driven by the conviction that currently dominant conceptions of networked technology in the urban environment, chiefly those grouped under the rubric of the “smart city,” are badly misguided. In almost every case, these are founded on a badly outdated model of centralised computational management, and in an ethos he has previously called “watchfulness from above.” That they have virtually no hope of responding in a meaningful way to the demands and desires of citizens and citydwellers themselves.

While at LSE Cities, Adam’s inquiry will invert the premise of the so-called “smart city,” and ask how technological intervention might support the emergence of intelligences, subjects and subjectivities we’d recognise as distinctly urban. Some of the questions he plans to explore are:

– How might we leverage the potential of data-gathering, analysis and visualisation tools to improve a community’s sense of the challenges, risks and opportunities facing it, and support it in the aim of autonomous self-governance?

– How might we use networked technologies to further the prerogatives so notably absent from the smart-city paradigm, particularly those having to do with solidarity, mutuality and collective action?

– How might we inscribe a robust conception of the right to the city in all of the technological interventions proposed, including but not limited to those intended to enhance personal mobility, citizen engagement, and processes of (individual and collective) self-determination?

– Finally, what alternative conceptions of technology in the urban everyday might support the open, tolerant, feisty, opinionated character we associate with big-city life — above all, that quality variously described as canniness, nous or savoir faire?

For more information or to contact Adam please email

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