Smart cities and technological change from a socio-material perspective

The promise of smart cities is widespread but there are few examples of cities that have put smart city ideas into practice. It’s unclear whether the smart city concept is a meaningless buzzword or an idea that will solve environmental problems and change how cities are governed. My research and teaching focuses on contemporary issues concerning the environment, technology and society. 

My research is based on socio-material perspectives on urban change. I am interested how smart city ideas affect the relationships between people, organisations, technology and the material form of cities. While smart city ideas might help to reduce the environmental impact of cities, they might also influence cities in negative ways. For example, previous research on smart cities has warned about increasing corporate control over urban governance. My current research project examines the role of smart city ideas in the Swedish city of Malmö, where a climate-smart city district called Hyllie is under development.

My teaching focuses on technology, cities and environment and builds on similar social science perspectives. I give lectures in several courses, both in urban and regional planning and the master’s programme in Science for Sustainable Development. I also teach a course in technology and society for first year students in the Civil Logistics.

I come from Canada and have a degree in Systems Design Engineering. I worked as an energy consultant before moving to Sweden for a master’s degree in environmental studies.

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