patterns in visualising urban futures between 1900 and now

visual/method/culture

I’m getting interested in how so-called ‘smart’ cities are being visualised.  ‘Smart’ is a recent way to describe how cities might run better – more sustainably, more efficiently, even more democratically – by using data gathered in various ways by digital technologies of various kinds.  There seems to next to nothing that’s considering how ‘smart urbanism’ is being imagined visually, though, which is odd.  Because they are being visualised, not least by the large corporations who are trying to sell ‘smart’ technologies to cities all over the world; and those visualisations are interesting because ‘smart’ and ‘data’ are not things that are intuitively easy to see in urban spaces.

I wonder if this absence is because most of the more theoretical and critical literatures on the digital technologies that are deployed in ‘smart’ cities draw on the new materialist realism.  They thus focus on the ontological status of technology and…

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