Critical city-making: exploring design approaches for imagining smart urban futures

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipating in a conference, workshop, ...Professional


During this two-day event – consisting of a one-day symposium and one-day workshop – we explore the potential of design approaches for smart urban governance questions, with a non-exclusive emphasis on critical making. We wish to connect various research strands. The first concerns the issue of citizen engagement. Critical research on smart cities has addressed the lack of citizen engagement, ownership and agency in shaping the future of smart urbanism. The second is about city-making practices. A variety of hands-on ‘smart city’ maker practices and conditions for experimentation exist. A key challenge is how to institutionalize them in terms of scale and durability. The third is about controversial smart tech. The pervasive presence of ‘smart’ digital media technologies, interfaces, and the relentless datafication of urban spaces, are rife with frictions and controversies.

This event is a collaboration between Civic Interaction Design Research Group, the Centre of Expertise for Creative Innovation (CoECI) and its SPRONG Network ‘Learning in Transitions’, and the [urban interfaces] research group, SIG “Inclusion in the Datafied City” focus area Governing the Digital Society, Open Cities Platform at Utrecht University.


Period4 Jul 20235 Jul 2023
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionNational