Smart Cities, Urban Informatics, and Sustainability: Challenges & Opportunities

Marcus Foth
Tuesday, 11 April, 2017 - 17:00
Classroom @ M-ITI, Floor -2, Polo Científico e Tecnológico da Madeira

Abstract:

Ubiquitous computing, mobile devices, and big data come together to give rise to a new urban paradigm being celebrated by many technology corporations and municipalities alike: the smart city. Yet, the general tenor of the current hype around smart cities is mainly about efficiency and productivity gains through automation and algorithmic analysis, and growth.

What evidence is there to suggest that the smart city can provide genuine answers to a number of wicked problems humanity faces?

In this talk, Professor Marcus Foth will dissect components that make up smart cities from cradle to grave and focus on the question of sustainability in cities. He will critically review examples and case studies with a view to widen the scope of the debate. Concluding remarks around co-creation, co-habitation and participatory governance beg further questions about not just the future of cities, but the future of deliberative democracy.
 

Short Bio:

Professor Marcus Foth is the director of the QUT Design Lab, founder and former director of the Urban Informatics Research Lab, and Professor in Interactive & Visual Design, School of Design, Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology. He is also an Honorary Professor in the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University, Denmark.

Marcus’ research focuses on the relationships between people, place and technology. He leads a cross-disciplinary team that develops practical approaches to complex urban problems. He adopts human-computer interaction and design methodologies to build engagement around emerging issues facing our cities. Marcus’ recent work has examined:

  • Urban planning – new approaches to community participation and engagement
  • Environmental sustainability – new strategies for energy monitoring in domestic settings
  • Food futures – new ideas to re-think eating, cooking and growing food in the city
  • Collaboration and co-working spaces – new aspirations for libraries in the 21st century

Marcus has received over $5 million in national competitive grants and industry funding. He received a Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Award 2013, and was inducted by the planning, design and development site Planetizen to the world’s top 25 leading thinkers and innovators in the field of urban planning and technology.

Marcus has authored and co-authored over 170 publications in journals, edited books, and conference proceedings. He is the editor of the Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics (IGI 2009), co-author of Action Research and New Media (Hampton Press 2009), co-editor of From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen (MIT Press 2011), Eat, Cook, Grow: Mixing Human-Computer Interactions with Human-Food Interactions (MIT Press 2014), and Citizen’s Right to the Digital City (Springer, 2015). He was the co-chair of the Oxford Internet Institute’s Summer Doctoral Programme 2009, chair of OZCHI 2009, the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies (C&T) 2011, co-chair of FoodCHI 2014, and chair of Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2016.

Marcus has given invited talks at leading research institutions, including Aarhus University, MIT, Harvard, Emerson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Tsinghua University, University of Oxford, University of Manchester, Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, University of Oulu, IT University of Copenhagen, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).