Counter Mapping the Smart City

McQuillan, Daniel. 2017. Counter Mapping the Smart City. Livingmaps Review(2), [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The smart city is an activity of map making, using the traces of our pasts, presents and predicted futures. Like many of its forebears this map serves the purposes of power and, as the sensors of the smart city see more deeply in to our lives, they colonise the new spaces that they find. The algorithms behind these sensors are constructing predictions from data that bring forth an urban space splintered by states of exception. While bottom-up participation is proposed by many as a remedy to the negatives of the smart city, I argue that this is not sufficient. The smart city is hegemonic, and this paper proposes that it be contested through the explicitly anti-hegemomic method of counter mapping. Drawing on critical cartography, this would enroll sensors and algorithms as machines who's mapping could instead extend the commonality.

Item Type:



smartcity, mapping, critical cartography, algorithms

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



1 February 2017Accepted

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Date Deposited:

03 Apr 2017 12:05

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:26


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