CFP AAG 2017: Cities & Data Beyond Smart Urbanism

American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting // April 5–9, 2017 // Boston, MA

Organizers: Agnieszka Leszczynski (University of Auckland) and Taylor Shelton (University of Kentucky)

The intensifying convergence of cities and data has garnered increasing attention across a range of academic disciplines, as well as within the public and private sectors. Much of this attention, however, has been framed within the rhetoric of ‘smart urbanism.’ The ‘smart city’ has emerged as a ubiquitous and hegemonic concept, and the de facto placeholder and designator for the co-articulation of the urban with big data, algorithms, and data-driven governance. This prompts us to ask how the confluence of data and cities may be, and perhaps needs to be, engaged and thought beyond the exclusive confines of the smart city? How, for example, does data-driven urban governance function as a Foucauldian technology in the service of objectives beyond or other than that of smart urbanism? What other kinds of temporalities and spatialities emerge at the interstices of data and cities that cannot be reduced to, or captured by, the categories, time frames, and geographies of the smart city? How might these non-smart city relationships demonstrate alternative, counter-hegemonic possibilities for cities and data?

While some initial work has begun to move beyond the smart city — for example, engaging the convergence of data and cities in terms of projects of urban future-ing (Leszczynski 2016; Perng, Kitchin & Evans 2016) — our thinking ‘beyond the smart city’ remains relatively limited. We accordingly invite empirical and theoretical contributions that conceptualize and/or extend current perspectives on the co-articulation of data and cities beyond narratives of smart urbanism. We intend for the range of topics and perspective to be open. Possibilities include, but are not limited to:

· urban algorithmic governance & governmentality

· affective dimensions of data & cities

· technics, subjects & cities

· urban quantification (as an extension of the quantified-self)

· urban augmented realities

· digital representations / data visualization & the city

· (contentious) politics of urban data

· counter-data & the city

We encourage interested participants to articulate how their conference paper extends or challenges smart cities hegemonies in engagements with cities and data. We welcome abstracts of no more than 250 words to be submitted to both Agnieszka Leszczynski ( and Taylor Shelton ( by October 15th.


Leszczynski A (2016) Speculative futures: Cities, data, and governance beyond smart urbanism. Environment & Planning A 48: 1691–1708.

Perng SY, Kithchin R & Evans L (2016) Locative media and data-driven computing experiments. Big Data & Society 3: doi: 10.1177/2053951716652161